Your free options on The Roku Channel are about to get more numerous on May 20. That's when the first tranche of 30 new original(ish) shows drop on Roku's ad-supported channel.
You don't have to pay a dime for the more than two-dozen short-form series, because Roku's already done so, having purchased them all from the now-defunct Quibi streaming service. (Well, that and it's a free, ad-supported channel, of course.)
Really, all you have to do is sit back and watch. And you won't actually have to spend all that much time doing it, because the nature of all of these series is that they're relatively short — figure 5 to 10 minutes or so — but they're full of some serious star power. And this is just the first drop of content from the Quibi acquisition. There are another 45 shows that will dribble out in the months ahead.
You've got a few options to watch, too. You're able to watch The Roku Channel on Roku players and Roku TV, of course. The Roku Channel also is available on select Samsung Smart TVs, on Amazon Fire TV, and in a web browser at TheRokuChannel.com. (But only in the United States for web browsers.)
Let's take a look at everything that's landing on May 20:
#FREERAYSHAWN tells the story of a young, black Iraq War veteran named Rayshawn who is set up by New Orleans police on a drug deal, runs for his life, and takes refuge inside his apartment building with his girlfriend and child. With New Orleans PD and the SWAT team outside ready to storm his home, a social media frenzy begins as community members and news outlets arrive at the scene. During this growing mayhem, a sympathetic cop named Steven Poincy plays the role of negotiator, and, over the course of one brutally stressful day, Steven tries to get Rayshawn to calmly surrender in order to avoid an escalation of unnecessary violence.
Cup of Joe
Cup of Joe is an eight-part travel series starring Joe Jonas. As one third of the global music phenomenon Jonas Brothers and lead singer of DNCE, Joe has travelled the world — city after city. But between whirlwind pit stops and racing between concert venues, Joe has only scratched the surface of what these places actually have to offer. Before he hits the stage on his sold-out Happiness Begins tour, Joe will experience each city like a true native - as he pairs up with celebrity friends at each destination. This global superstar is finally seeing the world.
Kevin Hart — playing a version of himself — is on a death-defying quest to become an action star. And with a little help from John Travolta, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Josh Hartnett … he just might pull it off.
From the Creator and Executive Producer of Chopped comes DISHMANTLED, a high-octane cooking competition that will literally blow your socks off. Hosted by Tituss Burgess, each episode starts with the cannon-blasting of a mystery food dish into the faces of two blindfolded chefs. They’ll use their culinary prowess to identify the exploded dish and then race against the clock to recreate it. Whichever chef comes closest to the original dish wins a cash prize.
An aspiring writer (Anna Kendrick) befriends her boyfriend’s sex doll and the two take on the world together.
Hosted by comedians Matt Rogers and Dave Mizzoni, Gayme Show is a comedic competition show that uplifts and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. In each episode, two straight contestants are paired with a celebrity "life partner" as they battle head to head in physical, mental and even emotional challenges for the title of "Queen of the Straights."
Hosted and Executive Produced by Chance the Rapper, PUNK’D dares to go where no show has gone before. (Unless you remember that there was another show called PUNK'D) back in the day.) Now that technology can really augment reality, we’re back to pull the boldest pranks on the biggest stars in Hollywood. No one is safe. The biggest stars are about to learn what happens if their fates were up to Chance.
The deputies of the Reno Sheriff's Department are still in the line of duty. And they’re ready to do what it takes to keep this city safe.
Royalties is a take on the oft-untold story of songwriters behind the world's biggest hits. It follows ragtag songwriting duo Sara and Pierce as they navigate the strange and hilarious challenges of creating great songs for insane artists.
Shape of Pasta
Chef Evan Funke. Italy. And the pursuit of pasta perfection. He’s uncovering the craft and culture behind some rare and forgotten pasta shapes. We dare you not to drool.
Thanks a Million
Executive Produced by Jennifer Lopez and Winner of Best Web Series by The Imagen Awards, this emotional and inspiring series features grateful public figures who kickstart a chain of kindness by gifting $100,000 to an unsuspecting individual who have had a positive impact on their lives — with a catch.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley gets up close and personal with today's biggest beauty icons including Kylie Jenner, Huda Kattan and more to hear their stories, inspirations, and learn what it takes to build a beauty empire.
Bad Ideas with Adam Devine
Adam Devine has always had a thirst for adventure. While most avoid danger, Adam not only faces it head on — but he adds his own twist to make what he’s doing a truly bad idea. Now, he’s roped his celebrity friends to come along for the ride.
Heartthrob contractor Tyler Cameron and interior designer Delia Kenza build custom, luxury dog homes for the furry friends of celebrity clientele.
Big Rad Wolf
American Apparel was initially celebrated for its provocative advertising and message of social change. Then the unpredictability of its founder imploded the iconic company. This is the story of the brand — good, bad, and ugly — as told by the people who lived it.
Nominated for Best Sports Show by Critics Choice Real TV Awards. The series highlights the five days during the 2014 NBA playoffs, when Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and the LA Clippers led an unprecedented movement of athletes to hold racism accountable.
Visionary Florist and Host Maurice Harris interviews creatives about their process. As they open up about their journey, Maurice uses his incredible flower design skills to create a beautiful centerpiece that reflects their conversation.
Real people. Real cases. And real, legally binding decisions. If you thought Chrissy Teigen couldn’t become an actual courtroom judge, you’ve been overruled. In each episode of Chrissy’s Court, Chrissy reigns supreme as the “judge” over one small-claims case. Chrissy’s mom turned “bailiff,” Pepper Thai, maintains order in the courtroom.
Fight Like a Girl
In each episode of Fight Like a Girl, Stephanie McMahon pairs a WWE Superstar with a young woman struggling with a personal issue that has been holding her back. The WWE Superstars draw from their own life experiences to help their trainees overcome obstacles and become tougher, stronger and healthier versions of their former selves inside and out.
Jann and Cricket think they have what it takes to become TV’s newest house-flipping couple. Unfortunately, a Mexican drug cartel thinks so too. Now the delusional duo has to survive their newest project — renovating the cartel’s mansions. Stars Will Forte, Kaitlin Olson, Arturo Castro, Eva Longoria and Andy Garcia.
Mike Ferro is an innocent man on the run, desperate to clear his name. Clay Bryce is the determined cop trying to track him down. Let the chase begin.
Stars Kiefer Sutherland, Boyd Holbrook, Natalie Martinez, Brian Geraghty, and Tiya Sircar.
Iron Sharpens Iron
Executive produced by Cam Newton, Iron Sharpens Iron shows fans their favorite star athletes paired up with another professional athlete from a completely different sport. For the first time ever, these athletes share the secrets of their individual training programs and take a deep dive into high-level sports science and fitness.
There’s a dark side to glamour. Dakota Fanning narrates this true crime documentary series that looks at real-life crimes that shook the fashion industry, told by the people closest to each case.
Let's Roll with Tony Greenhand
As a world renowned cannabis artist, Tony Greenhand and his smokable creations have attracted an A-list clientele, propelling him as one of the most notable figures in the growing marijuana industry. In each episode, Tony connects with a different celebrity weed enthusiast to make their wildest joint dreams come true.
Most Dangerous Game
Desperate to take care of his pregnant wife before a terminal illness can take his life, Dodge Tynes (Liam Hemsworth) accepts an offer to participate in a deadly game where he’s the prey. This dystopian action-thriller explores the limits of how far someone would go to fight for their life and their family. Let the games begin.
Murder House Flip
From the Executive Producer of CSI, Murder House Flip is an unconventional new home renovation show that takes on the country’s most infamous homes: the ones known for mysterious murders committed behind their walls. Homeowners turn to high-end renovation experts, Mikel Welch and Joelle Uzyel, to remove the stains of the past and take these homes from morbid to marvelous.
A samurai sword. A tomahawk. A Playboy magazine. Unbox these real-life pieces of evidence and more while hearing from the detectives, prosecutors, and witnesses who helped solve the actual cases.
Full of heart, humor, and a hell of a lot of glitter, NightGowns follows Sasha Velour over the course of eight episodes as she adapts her critically-acclaimed Brooklyn drag revue into a full-on stage production—and the biggest drag showcase of her life.
Part performance documentary, part portrait of the artist, we’ll watch Velour work with each member of her uniquely inclusive ensemble to craft the lip-sync performances of their wildest dreams. Eight iconic, shareable, must-watch performances that redefine what drag can be.
Hosted by Megan Rapinoe, each episode highlights one Prodigy’s unprecedented athletic accomplishments, while also diving deep into their origin stories to introduce the Prodigies to the world in a powerful, unique way. Each episode will inspire not only sports fans, but fans of the human experience, all while honoring the villages that helped them earn the numerous National, World and Olympic Championships they have obtained early in their young careers.
The 2020 Prodigy Class is:
- Jalen Green: #1 ranked high school basketball player in the country
- Sha’Carri Richardson: fastest woman in NCAA track and field history
- Red Gerard: youngest Winter Olympic Gold Medalist since 1928
- Regan Smith: fastest woman in swimming history
- Matthew Boling: fastest man in high school track and field history
- Tyler Adams: member of the USMNT, one of the world’s most promising soccer stars
- Korey Foreman: #1 ranked high school football player in the country
- Chantel Navarro: US Junior National Boxing Team member, 5-time National Champion
You Ain't Got These
Executive Produced by Lena Waithe, this is not a show about sneakers. It’s a show about sneaker culture. Fitting in. And belonging to something bigger than yourself.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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