Starting Thursday, The Roku Channel will be the exclusive ad-supported video-on-demand home for the talk show with episodes available the day after the air in syndication. All previously aired episodes of the program will also be available free on demand.
Roku acquired rights to the show from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, a division of Warner Bros. Discovery. Warner Bros. Discovery has plans to launch its own free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service, but has also shifted its strategy away from putting its content primarily on its own direct-to-consumer platforms.
"The Jennifer Hudson Show has energized daytime talk show audiences and continues to soar to new creative and ratings heights. The momentum that it has experienced since debuting only three months ago speaks volumes about Jennifer’s ability to connect with audiences. Adding J.Hud to the Roku Channel gives fans a whole new way to connect with her, which is what we are all about," said David Decker, head of content licensing for Warner Bros Discovery.
The show is hosted by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winning singer Jennifer Hudson and features celebrity interviews, topical stories and music. Ratings for the show were up 17% to hit a new high in the week ended November 6.
"The authentic spirit that Jennifer Hudson brings to each episode of the series has already won over the hearts of audiences across the country, and we look forward to extending its viewership potential further to the millions of streamers reached by The Roku Channel," said Rob Holmes, VP, programming at Roku. "It’s thrilling for us to bring a top new series with A-list talent like The Jennifer Hudson Show to audiences to enjoy for free. We’re committed to sourcing quality entertainment options that are representative of what our audience wants to watch."
In October, Roku announced that it was eliminating 200 employee positions in order to cut expenses as a way of dealing with the economic conditions facing the industry. The company reported that third quarter platform revenue -- largely ad sales --dropped to $670 million from $673 million in the second quarter.
Produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures and distributed in national syndication by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, The Jennifer Hudson Show is executive produced by Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, Corey Palent, Jennifer Hudson, Lisa Kasteler Calio, Graehme Morphy, and Walter Williams III, with Shani Black as co-executive producer.
The Jennifer Hudson Show is produced in Los Angeles. ■
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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.