Roku’s first feature-length film is Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, a TV movie based off the NBC show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, the company has announced. The film will be available free on the ad-supported Roku Channel in the US this holiday season, as well as in Canada and the UK. The film will be directed by Richard Shepard (who directed the show’s original pilot), and written and executive produced by the show’s creator Austin Winsberg.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas marks the latest step in Roku’s foray into original content, which kicked off with its acquisition of defunct streaming service Quibi’s library earlier this year. Since then it’s launched its own Roku Recommends show, and has ordered additional seasons of ex-Quibi shows The Most Dangerous Game and Kevin Hart’s Die Hart.
“We are absolutely thrilled to call ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas’ our first Roku Original film and make it available to both longtime fans and new ones on The Roku Channel this holiday,” said Roku’s head of original scripted programming Colin Davis.
“We are absolutely thrilled to call ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas’ our first Roku Original film”
Historically Roku has best been known for its inexpensive streaming hardware, and to a lesser extent the smart TV OS it provides to TV manufacturers like TCL and Hisense. But the Roku Channel is part of its increasingly important advertising business, and the company’s CEO Anthony Wood has been pretty open about seeing Roku’s future as an ad-focused company rather than a hardware-focused one. Earlier this year, Roku acquired Nielsen’s video advertising business in an attempt to build out its ad tech.
In addition to the new film, Roku says that all 25 episodes of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist will be available to stream on The Roku Channel in the US “later this fall.” The show originally ran for two seasons on NBC, before being cancelled earlier this year.
As well as Roku-branded hardware, The Roku Channel is available on the web, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, select Samsung TVs, Now devices, and Sky Q, depending on your country.