Production of Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas will start this month in Vancouver, with Lionsgate remaining onboard as the studio. Cast members Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Andrew Leeds, Alice Lee, Michael Thomas Grant, Kapil Talwalkar, David St. Louis, Mary Steenburgen, Peter Gallagher and Bernadette Peters are all returning. Story-wise, the film picks up where Season 2 left off, according to the official announcement.
The film will stream for free on the ad-supported Roku Channel in the U.S. Along with the film, all 25 episodes of the series will stream on the Roku Channel in the U.S. later this fall.
It is the first Roku Originals film and also the first scripted project outside of the pool of Quibi shows Roku acquired in January from the shuttered mobile streaming service. The Roku Originals banner launched earlier this year on the Roku Channel, which reaches households with 70 million viewers, according to the company, ranking among the top destinations in streaming.
Original programming appears to be a meaningful complement to the existing lineup of 40,000 on-demand titles and almost 200 live, linear networks on the Roku Channel, which launched in 2017. Between May 20 and July 18, the company said, the top 5 TV programs in terms of unique views on the Roku Channel were all Roku Originals, according to the company.
The Zoey’s Christmas project also will be on Roku in Canada and the UK.
Cast members had all been released from the show in July, as Deadline reported, with producers and Lionsgate looking at options beyond NBC where it might continue. While a fan favorite and a recipient of critical praise and awards attention, the show did not build audience in its second season. Even counting seven days of delayed viewing, Season 2 delivered a 0.6 rating in the demo, down 14% from its debut season.
“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is the kind of show that doesn’t just entertain people, it speaks to them,” Colin Davis, Roku’s head of original scripted programming, said in a statement. “The show has a healing power about it, which is brought to life by the incredibly talented cast through music and dance. That connection with the audience is what makes bringing a holiday-themed film like Zoey to life with the original cast so special.”
Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas is produced by Lionsgate in association with the Tannenbaum Company, Feigco Entertainment and Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment and Zihuatenejo Productions.
“I am so extremely grateful to the Roku Channel for helping us get Zoey to sing again,” creator Austin Winsberg said. “I can’t think of a more appropriate time to hear someone’s heart song than the holidays. And Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas will be an opportunity to provide the fans and new viewers alike a chance to all tap their toes and get in the holiday mood.”
Lionsgate EVP Television & Head of Development Scott Herbst and Lionsgate EVP Television & Head of Current Programming Lee Hollin saluted the fervor of the show’s fans. “The fans were passionate and unwavering in their support, and their perseverance paid off,” they said.
Austin Winsberg will write and executive produce. Richard Shepard, director of the “Zoey’s Extraordinary Play” pilot, will direct. Kim Tannenbaum, Eric Tannenbaum, Paul Feig, David Blackman and Daniel Inkeles will serve as executive producers. Dan Magnante, Jason Wang and Mandy Moore will serve as coexecutive producers with Michele Greco serving as producer. Sam Laybourne and Samantha McIntyre are consulting producers.
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