Roku wants to be known as more than just a provider of streaming devices that gives users easy access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and the like, but as its streaming channel offering both original content and popular shows from other channels and networks. That’s where The Roku Channel comes in.
The Roku Channel is an ad-supported streaming channel with hundreds of TV shows right at users’ fingertips. Some are only available through Roku Channel premium subscriptions to cable channels like Showtime, Starz, Epix or AMC+ — with some shows offering a few episodes for free — but plenty are free and ready to watch.
The Roku Channel also now has its own Roku Originals, many of which were acquired from the short-lived Quibi streaming channel. About 20 Roku Originals are now on The Roku Channel, with more on the way.
Here’s a look at the best shows on The Roku Channel available to watch right now.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock is best known for his classic movies like North by Northwest, Psycho, Vertigo and Rear Window, but he was not limited to the big screen. Alfred Hitchcock Presents brought the master of suspense into people’s homes on a weekly basis.
Hitchcock served as the host of the show, which showed unrelated short stories every week that spanned from crime to horror to comedy, similar to The Twilight Zone, which debuted four years after Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Hitch also directed 17 of the 268 episodes that ran across seven seasons.
Other directors during the series included Robert Stevens, Paul Henreid, Norman Lloyd and Robert Altman, among others.
All seven seasons of Alfred Hitchcock Presents are available on The Roku Channel to enjoy.
One of the most popular reality series of all time, The Bachelorette has reliably brought the drama for eager fans ready to eat it up across 16 (about to be 17) seasons.
While the show has not been without controversy, including recently with longtime host Chris Harrison, fans continue to return to the reality franchise to watch roses be handed out as young people try to find love on national television.
Only one season of The Bachelorette is available on The Roku Channel, season 13, featuring the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay.
Baroness von Sketch Show
While certain shows are only available through premium subscriptions, The Roku Channel does often give some free samplings of premium content. This month that includes the entire first season of the comedy show Baroness von Sketch Show.
Created by Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen, the sketch show tackles a variety of current cultural topics, but with a woman’s perspective.
The first season of Baroness von Sketch Show is currently available for free on The Roku Channel. Additional seasons will require subscribing to the AMC+ premium subscription.
Blue Mountain State
Originally airing on what was then Spike TV (remember that?), Blue Mountain State put a comedic spin on the world of college football, following a trio of incoming freshmen at the eponymous college football powerhouse as they balance athletics, classes, girls and hazing.
The show was short-lived — squeezing in three seasons over two years — but it generated a solid fanbase that have enjoyed it across streaming platforms since its end.
The Roku Channel offers the entire series of Blue Mountain State.
One of the Roku Originals that came from the acquisition of Quibi, Die Hart stars comedian Kevin Hart as himself, determined to become an action star with the help of a former action star, played by John Travolta.
These former Quibi shows are quick hitters, all less than 10 minutes, but with a performer of Hart’s energy it’s safe to assume that they try and back as much humor into that time frame as possible.
In addition to Hart and Travolta, Nathalie Emmanuel and Jean Reno co-star, and Josh Harnett is there as himself.
All episodes of Die Hart are on The Roku Channel.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition
If you’re in need of a feel good show, you’d be hard pressed to find something that brings the feels more than Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
First running from 2003-2012 before returning in 2020, Extreme Makeover Home Edition was hosted by Ty Pennington, who along with a team of contractors and people from local communities, would create a new home for a family in need over the course of a week.
It was always inspiring to see communities come together and help each other create one of the most important things anyone needs, a home. Get your tissues ready, cause Extreme Makeover Home Edition does not hold back on its tear-inducing moments.
Various episodes from seven seasons of the show are available on The Roku Channel.
Even though Quibi didn’t last very long, that does not mean it was without its successes, at least critically. #FreeRayshawn earned two Emmy Awards for Laurence Fishburne and Jasmine Cephas Jones in the acting categories for short form series; Stephan James was also nominated.
The 15-episode first season of #FreeRayshawn follows a Black military veteran who becomes caught in a showdown with the New Orleans SWAT team. He tries to talk his way out of it with the help of a sympathetic officer.
All episodes of #FreeRayshawn are on The Roku Channel.
Chef Gordon Ramsay has become a TV staple in large part because of his classic rants on shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. Fans can relive some of the greatest hits on The Roku Channel.
Kitchen Nightmares sees Ramsay take a break from the competition of Hell’s Kitchen or Master Chef and visit failing restaurants to try and help them turn things around. The show gets to have its cake and eat it too, with Ramsay’s signature temper on full display, but also a softer side as he works to give restaurateurs new life.
The Roku Channel features episodes from six of the Kitchen Nightmare's seven seasons so far.
Reno 911! was a long-running hit on Comedy Central that received new life initially from Quibi and now as a Roku Original.
The Reno Sheriff’s Department is back, with Thomas Lennon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney, Robert Ben Garant, Niecy Nash, Mary Birdsong, Cedric Yarbrough and Carlos Alazraqui all returning. New to the force is Paul Walter Hauser.
The original show was often made up of short vignettes of the officers responding to hilarious crimes, so it makes sense that the Reno 911! would work seamlessly in the abbreviated episodes that make up many of the Roku Originals.
All episodes of the new Reno 911! are available to watch on The Roku Channel.
The Shape of Pasta
The Roku Original The Shape of Pasta was made for foodies. The series follows chef Evan Funke as he travels around Italy learning about and making rare and forgotten types of pasta in an effort to keep their traditions alive.
Whether you make your own pasta or just want to learn about some classic Italian cuisine, The Shape of Pasta is something you’ll want to watch. Probably best not to do it on an empty stomach though.
The entire first season is now on The Roku Channel.
The show that introduced the world to actor Matt Bomer, White Collar sees Bomer star as a con artist who strikes a deal with the FBI to help capture other criminals in exchange for his freedom.
Originally airing on USA Network, White Collar was one of the network’s marquee shows, alongside Suits. Joining Bomer in the cast was Tim DeKay, Willie Garson and Saved by the Bell alumni Tiffani Thiessen.
White Collar ran for six seasons, all of which can be streamed on The Roku Channel.
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