Roku, wading deeper into the original programming pool, said it acquired the U.S. rights to the new comedy Children Ruin Everything created by Schitts’s Creek writer Kurt Smeaton.
The eight half-hour episode series will stream exclusively under the Roku Originals banner on The Roku Channel in 2022.
“From script to screen, there are many moving parts that need to click together to make a show sincerely come to life. Children Ruin Everything brings together an exceptional group of award-winning writers, producers and actors with an incredible chemistry you don’t always see come together,” said Colin Davis, head of scripted at Roku. “I can’t wait for The Roku Channel’s U.S. audience to experience this phenomenal story about modern partnering.”
Children Ruin Everything will be Roku's first original half-hour show, Davis told Broadcasting+Cable. The show has already been commissioned by a Canadian broadcaster when Roku got into the picture, but Davis said his team was able to read all the scripts and has been "very involved in that process."
The show will likely streaming in the spring in the U.S. on Roku, after it has its debut in Canada. "We want to stack it, so we'll probably want to make sure we have all the episodes so a consumer can enjoy it all at once," he said.
Davis joined Roku when it acquired Quibi, the short-lived, short-form streaming service. Quibi’s programming formed the early wave of Roku Originals and some of those series have been renewed by Roku.
Roku also bought the company that produces This Old House and recently started airing new episodes of the long-running home improvement series on dedicated channels, including Roku’s first subscription channel.
In addition Roku will be airing a holiday movie, Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, based on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, the series canceled by NBC.
“It is an incredible time to be working as a creative in streaming,” Davis said. “As America’s #1 TV streaming platform, we have the unique ability to understand what type of content audiences are gravitating towards, which in turn empowers our creative teams to develop stellar content that we know our audience will love.”
Children Ruin Everything is being produced and developed by New Metric Media, the company behind Hulu's Letterkenny, in association with Canada's Bell Media for CTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund.
Bell Media Distribution is the international rights holder for Children Ruin Everything and New Metric Media is the series’ exclusive sales agent.
How much Roku is paying for the show is undisclosed.
“Children Ruin Everything was inspired by my own parenting experience, where every plan my wife and I made was thwarted by our kids in surprising and funny ways,” said Kurt Smeaton, the creator and executive producer. “Of course, this experience isn’t unique to us - which is what makes the stories we tell in this series so relatable. I'm thrilled to partner with Roku on this project and bring the show to the U.S..”
The series stars Meaghan Rath and Aaron Abrams. Ennis Esmer and Nazneen Contractor are also in the cast.
Chuck Tatham and Mark Montefiore are executive producers along with Rath. Beth Iley serves as producer.
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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.
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