EXCLUSIVE: Roku has begun removing titles including scripted shows Most Dangerous Game starring Christoph Waltz and Slip from Zoe Lister-Jones.
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Roku revealed yesterday that it was set to remove some content as part of a cost-cutting drive that also saw around 300 employees laid off. It said that it would take a hit of between $55M-$65M for removing “select existing licensed and produced content from company-operated services on its TV streaming platform”.
The company will, however, continue to order original series and sources note that this process is part of its regular review of programming.
Action thriller Most Dangerous Game was originally a Quibi original with the first season starring Liam Hemsworth alongside Waltz. The first season earned two Emmy nominations and it was renewed by Roku for a second season starring David Castañeda. It came from creator Nick Santora and the second season launched in March 2023.
Slip was a comedy from Life In Pieces star Lister-Jones, who created it and starred. It told the story of Mae Cannon, a 30-something that finds herself restless inside a marriage that totally works. The series follows Mae through a fantastical journey of parallel universes, as she enters new relationships, trying to find her way back to her partner, and ultimately, herself.
The series was produced by Dakota Johnson’s TeaTime Pictures and Boat Rocker.
The latter, which has a first-look deal and owns a minority stake in TeaTime, which was founded by Johnson and Ro Donnelly, plans to shop Slip to other platforms.
Ivan Schneeberg & David Fortier, Co-Executive Chairmen, Boat Rocker Media & Co-Chairmen, Boat Rocker Studios, told Deadline, “Critically acclaimed, heartfelt, hilarious, and completely unique, Slip has only begun to spark the imaginations and bend the minds of audiences around the world. We’re incredibly proud of this series and are in awe of Zoe Lister-Jones’ talent. We and our partners at TeaTime Pictures are confident that we’ll find a great new domestic home for this ground-breaking series.”
Other scripted titles include Florida comedy drama Panhandle, which came from Nick Stoller and Carla Kettner. The series followed follows an eccentric, agoraphobic arm-chair detective with a reluctant traffic cop in a series that showcases community, connection, and only-in-Florida characters and starred Luke Kirby and Tiana Okoye. It was produced by Sony Pictures Television and was co-produced with Spectrum Originals, launching in September 2022.
The continuation of Reno 911 and Australian drama series The Newsreader, starring Anna Torv, have also been removed.
Elsewhere, there is a number of reality and non-scripted titles that have been removed.
Shows include Dishmantled, a cooking competition series hosted by Titus Burgess, Moving the Needle with Dr. Woo, Surprise We’re Pregnant, Eye Candy and Murder House Flip.
Sources noted that there are a handful of other non-scripted titles that are currently not available on the service, but that is as a result of technical issues, rather than removal.
Chad, the comedy series from Nasim Pedrad, was saved by Roku at the end of last year after it was scrapped by Warner Bros. Discovery’s TBS. The streamer picked up the second season, which had been filmed. Deadline understands that the series is still set to launch on Roku and was not affected by the removals.
We hear that Brian Tannenbaum, who took over as head of Roku originals earlier this year, was making “difficult” calls to producers and talent yesterday.
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