The show is the first Roku Original to get a renewal. The streaming purveyor used the dozens of Quibi shows it acquired in January to launch its original programming banner, with shows all streaming on the free, ad-supported Roku Channel. The first 30 Quibi alumni debuted May 20.
The second outing of the show will be titled Die Harter. Hart will return as star and exec producer but the rest of the cast will be announced down the line. John Travolta, Nathalie Emmanuel, Josh Hartnett and Jean Reno appeared alongside Hart in the first season.
Hart’s Laugh Out Loud returns as the show’s producer in partnership with Roku.
In the show, Hart plays a version of himself, a comic actor who yearns to play the action star instead of the comedic sidekick. In order to make the leap, he is given training in the fine points of being an action hero.
The streaming provider credited a “a spectacular weekend debut” in its announcement of the second season, citing “a record number of households streaming the series.” It didn’t offer any numbers in connection with the superlatives. The Roku Channel reaches 70 million U.S. households, per Roku, via its connected-TV platforms as well as other major venues like Amazon Fire TV.
Colin Davis, as Deadline reported exclusively in March, joined Roku as head of original scripted programming after a run at Quibi as head of comedy. Fronted by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman and financed with $1.75 billion in start-up capital, Quibi launched in April 2020 but went dark a few months later after failing to gain traction.
Addressing the surge in popularity once the show hit Roku in an interview with Deadline, Davis said, “Personally, being involved in that first season of Die Hart, we couldn’t have dreamed of an audience this big. To be able to marry this content with this engaged audience is what resulted in a record-breaking weekend.” Given the “scale and scope” of Roku’s well-established audience, he added, “when you bring them something of quality, they devour it.”
Laugh Out Loud CEO and Hart’s longtime business partner, Jeff Clanagan, will be a producer on the project. Tripper Clancy, Candice Wilson, Bryan Smiley, and Thai Randolph are exec producers. Derek Kolstad is co-creator and executive producer. Eric Appel will return to direct the second season.
“The return of Die Hart marks a pivotal moment in the continued growth and expansion of LOL Studios,” Clanagan said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to team up with Roku and be the first Roku Original to get a second season. We can’t wait for fans to dive into what is sure to be an even bigger, more action-packed season two.”
Launched in 2017, the Roku Channel now has 40,000 free movies and programs as well as nearly 200 free live, linear channels.
Rob Holmes, Roku’s VP of programming, said the number of unique Roku accounts was only one factor in why the company decided to extend the series. “Advertisers are trying to reach viewers who have left linear television and trying to reach them at scale,” he said. “Die Hart in particular is in a movie-type format, and we’re seeing a very nice view-through rate as a part of that.”
The talent involved in the Quibi slate, which is now on Roku — in addition to Hart, Anna Kendrick, Chance the Rapper and the Reno 911 cast — gives the company tangible ways to promote. During the 24 hours around the premiere of Die Hart, Holmes said, there was a “takeover” of the platform urging viewers to tune in. “We have the ability to put Kevin Hart on the home screen for tens of millions of viewers,” Holmes said. “The streaming world in the U.S. loves Kevin Hart.”
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