EXCLUSIVE: The Roku Channel has a job on its hands to manage its recently acquired library of Quibi shows and has hired the shortform service’s former exec Brian Tannenbaum to help on the non-scripted side.
Deadline understands that Tannenbaum, who was a senior content executive and programming lead in the shortform streaming service’s alternative and unscripted team, has joined the technology company to head up alternative content for The Roku Channel.
Sources have told Deadline that Tannenbaum’s priority is to handle the non-scripted portion of the Quibi content, dealing with producers and talent as it plans to roll out these shows on The Roku Channel later this year.
The majority of these non-scripted shows aired on Quibi during its brief window of operation, but there were a handful that didn’t – some that were completed before it shutdown and others that hadn’t finished production. Tannenbaum will be tasked with working out launch plans for these shows and also potentially whether any of them return for second seasons.
Once this is rolling, Tannenbaum is likely to start taking pitches for original content and looking for more non-scripted titles to launch on the service. That could potentially mark an interesting new buyer for formats, entertainment shows and docuseries.
Deadline understands that Tannenbaum is one of a number of former Quibi execs that Roku has hired to help handle the transition.
Tannenbaum spent two years at Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s digital platform between October 2018 and November 2020 and was responsible for managing a slate of over 50 shows including Jennifer Lopez’s Thanks A Million, Chrissy Teigen’s Chrissy’s Court, Chance the Rapper’s reboot of Punk’d, Will Smith’s stand up series This Joka, the Keke Palmer-fronted reboot of Singled Out and Joe Jonas’ Cup of Joe.
Prior to joining Quibi, Tannenbaum served as SVP, Creative and Business Affairs, Alternative Programming at Lionsgate, where he worked on series including YouTube’s Kevin Hart: What the Fit, Netflix’s Selling Sunset and Facebook Watch’s Kim Kardashian West-exec produced You Kiddin’ Me.
It comes as the digital service plans to launch action drama Cypher – its highest-profile license of a show that has not aired anywhere else. The show, which launches on March 19 in the U.S. and Canada, stars Martin Dingle Wall as an FBI cryptanalyst who deciphers a coded document and realizes it is a hit list and comes from Aroma Studios and United Bros.
The Roku Channel is an ad-supported outlet that has reach with 63M people and the company said that the channel’s viewership has doubled over the past year.
Dade Hayes contributed to this story.
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