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Roku to Ramp Up Content, Will Air Original Shows from Emeril, Martha Stewart

Matt Tamanini

Now that Roku has established itself as the leading TV operating system in the United States, the company is working to quickly increase its original content in hopes of keeping more eyeballs on its ad-supported Roku Channel.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the streamer had inked deals to bring multiple shows to its service from cooking TV icons Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart. The platform will also become the home to more than 3,000 episodes from the archives of Lagasse, Stewart, and celebrity chef Christopher Kimball and the new deal will work to supplement and highlight those libraries.

Stewart will host three shows for Roku — “Martha Cooks,” “Martha Holidays” (working title), and “Martha Gardens” which will be focused on her gardening work at her palatial estate; the TV icon previously hosted “Bakeaway Camp” at her 153-acre farm for the Food Network.

“I am so excited to bring new and engaging content and beloved episodes created by me and my team from throughout the years to the Roku audience,” Stewart said.”

Lagasse will lead a pair of shows — “Emeril Cooks” and “Emeril Tailgates,” in which the chef creates dishes perfect for tailgating. Roku will also air two shows from Kimball’s Milk Street Studios, “Milk Street’s Cooking School” and “Milk Street’s My Family Recipe.”

These new unscripted shows will be part of a lineup of 25 new projects that Roku plans to release over the next year that will also include scripted series and original movies.

The legacy shows joining the service are:
- “Martha Bakes”: Seasons 1-11
- “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”: Seasons 1-5
- “Martha Stewart Living”: Seasons 1-11
- “Essence of Emeril”: Seasons 1-11
- “Emeril Live”: Seasons 1-19
- “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television”: Seasons 1-5

“We are thrilled to bring our viewers this standout content from culinary and cultural powerhouses Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and Chris Kimball – for free,” Roku’s Vice President for Programming Rob Holmes said. “The Roku Channel’s impressive reach, incredibly engaged userbase and successful monetization model continues to make it an attractive destination for content partners and established talent to elevate their programming and connect with streaming audiences at scale. These exciting first-of-their-kind partnerships for Roku with Marquee Brands and Milk Street Studios, showcase our unique ability to drive value across the streaming ecosystem.”

Last week, Roku announced that it had added 1.2 million active accounts during the first three months of the year, bringing its global total to 61.3 million. The company also noted that in Q1 2022, its users accounted for 20.9 billion hours of streaming.

Primarily a platform to sell subscriptions and advertising to external broadcasters and streaming services, Roku has been looking to diversify its offerings in recent months. Earlier this year, it was reported that Roku is exploring an expansion into TV manufacturing and last week, the streaming platform announced that they had reached an exclusive deal with Lionsgate Films.

Roku Channel

The Roku Channel is a free live TV streaming service that provides 270+ live linear streaming channels and more than 80,000 free movies and TV shows. The library contains entertainment from several different decades, including some major hits.

The service also made a splash by the acquisition of the Quibi library, now presented as Roku Originals. More original content is set to follow.

Users can add premium subscriptions to services like Showtime, STARZ, and AMC+ that can be accessed within the Roku Channel ecosystem.