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Farrelly Brothers Comedy Makes Debut as Roku Channel Original

The Now The Roku Channel Bill Murray Dave Franco
Bill Murray and Dave Franco in 'The Now' (Image credit: Roku)

Roku’s well of Quibi content hasn’t run dry yet.

The streaming platform said it will premiere The Now, a dark comedy series from the Farrelly Brothers on The Roku Channel Friday (Dec. 10).

Billed as a Roku Original, The Now was originally produced for Quibi.

Roku has been wading into putting original content. It bought the rights to the glossy content produced for Quibi, the short-form, mobile subscription service that quickly went out of business after raising and spending billions on programming from Hollywood’s top talent.

Also: Roku Streaming More Unaired Episodes of Two Quibi Series

The 14-episode (each one is 8 to 10 minutes long) show is typical of Quibi’s content. In addition to its award-winning directors, The Now stars Dave Franco, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jimmy Tatro, Bill Murray, Alyssa Milano, Pete Davidson and Darryl Hannah. And no one has seen it. 

Those Quibi series became the first shows under the Roku Originals banner earlier this year, Roku also bought the company that produces This Old House. More recently, it leaked that it plans to produce 50 original scripted and unscripted series over the next two years.

The Now is about a man who is forced to rethink his outlook on life after a tragic event.

“I've never needed The Now more than now,” said Colin Davis, Roku’s Head of Original Scripted Programming. “This is a show that tackles tough but universal challenges with levity and comedy that only this excellent cast and creators can deliver. The Roku Channel is on a strong path to being the best destination for premium, bespoke, original comedies and ‘The Now’ more than delivers.”

The Farrelly Brothers are known for films including There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and Green Book.

“I wanted to make a show about living in the present because I personally have lived too much in the future and the past and I think a lot of people do. We worry about the future, and we have regrets about the past, yet we are only ever living in the now. The future and the past are just concepts, but all life takes place in the present. If you want to make changes in your life you have to make them in the now,” said Peter Farrelly.

“We knew that we needed a stellar cast to tell this story properly, and that’s what we got. Collaborating with Dave Franco, O’Shea Jackson, Jimmy Tatro, Bill Murray, Alyssa Milano, and Daryl Hannah was an unforgettable experience, and the result is something that we’re very proud of. We can’t wait to share it with everyone on The Roku Channel,” added Bobby Farrelly.

All 14 episodes of the series will be available to viewers of The Roku Channel in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for free at launch.

It will be hard to tell how many people wind up watching The Now. Roku claims that Roku Originals have been an important audience driver for The Roku Channel, but the company has decided not to share any specific viewer numbers.

The Now was directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly. It was written by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Steve Leff and Pete Jones. Steve Golin and Jeff Okin served as executive producers. The series was produced by Anonymous Content.■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.