Roku Adding 23 Originals, Including Quibi Alum ‘Mapleworth Murders’, As Roku Channel Tops Free Streaming Outlets In June Nielsen Data

MM_D14_12092019_DM_0582.RAF Quibi

Roku will add 23 series on Friday to its free streaming outlet the Roku Channel, including former Quibi shows like Emmy-nominated comedy The Mapleworth Murders.

The announcement of the new arrivals came with new Nielsen data showing the channel was No. 6 in terms of household reach among all streaming services.

Along with 18 other titles from the trove of Quibi shows acquired from the defunct mobile streaming outlet in January, Roku will also premiere three other new originals. They include Eye Candy, a Josh Groban-hosted edible-creations competition show; Squeaky Clean, a Leslie Jordan cleaning competition; and What Happens in Hollywood, a 10-part docuseries from filmmaker Maria Zenovich about how views of sex and sexuality are shaped by entertainment.

Roku is also bringing out a second season of Thanks a Million, the unscripted show produced by Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions and B17 Entertainment. Quibi ordered a second season in April 2020 but it did not get released before the company shut down in October.

The Roku Channel is available in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. When Roku reported earnings last week, it said a record number of unique accounts among its base of 55.1 million watched the channel.

Nielsen’s measurement of June streaming, Roku said as it announced the original premieres, ranked the No. 6 among all streaming outlets. In Nielsen’s “household reach” metric, the Roku Channel trailed only Disney+, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube and Netflix and finished ahead of free rivals Pluto and Tubi. Nielsen’s methodology has come in for criticism of late and each streaming player tends to define its own terms of success, but Roku pointed to the Nielsen numbers as proof of a successful strategy.

“While it’s only been a few months since the launch of Roku Originals, the response has been overwhelming,” said Brian Tannenbaum, Roku’s head of alternative programming. “We’re excited to keep the drumbeat of premium series, featuring Hollywood’s top talent, available only on the Roku Channel with this next slate of original programming.”

Scripted programming chief Colin Davis said the channel’s original slate “can offer something for everyone.”

Launched in 2017, the Roku Channel has assembled a lineup of 40,000 film and TV titles as well as nearly 200 live, linear channels. Since Roku Originals launched in May, they accounted for all five of the top TV shows streamed on the channel from May 20 to July 18, judging by unique views. Roku Channel’s streaming hours more than doubled in the second quarter compared with the same period of 2020. Due to the tough comparisons with the Covid-19-shaped second quarter of 2020, Roku’s total streaming hours dipped in the quarter and it added 1.5 million active accounts, a slowdown from recent quarters.

Here are the shows premiering on Friday as Roku Originals:

  • &Music
  • The Andy Cohen Diaries
  • Benedict Men
  • Elba vs. Block
  • Eye Candy
  • Fierce Queens
  • Floored
  • Gone Mental with Lior
  • Mapleworth Murders
  • Memory Hole
  • Nice One!
  • Nikki Fre$h
  • Run This City
  • The Sauce
  • Sex Next Door
  • Singled Out
  • Skrrt with Offset
  • Squeaky Clean
  • The Stranger
  • Survive
  • Thanks a Million (Season 2)
  • What Happens in Hollywood
  • Wireless

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