Review: ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,’ starring Daniel Radcliffe

November 2, 2022

by Carla Hay

Spencer Treat Clark, Tommy O’Brien, Daniel Radcliffe and Rainn Wilson in “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (Photo courtesy of The Roku Channel)

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”

Directed by Eric Appel

Culture Representation: Taking place from the late 1960s to 1985, mostly in California, the comedy film “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans, Latinos and Asians) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: Nerdy misfit Al Yankovic becomes world-famous for his parodies of pop music hits, but his fame, an inflated ego and an ill-fated romance with Madonna cause problems in his life. 

Culture Audience: “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” will appeal primarily to fans of “Weird Al” Yankovic, star Daniel Radcliffe and movies that spoof celebrity biopics.

Evan Rachel Wood and Daniel Radcliffe in “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (Photo courtesy of The Roku Channel)

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” isn’t a straightforward biopic but it’s more like a biopic parody, which is fitting, considering the movie is about music parody king “Weird Al” Yankovic. Daniel Radcliffe fully commits to an off-the-wall performance as Yankovic. Some parts of the movie get distracted by trying to be too bizarre, but this well-cast movie overall can bring plenty of laughs. “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” had its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

Directed by Eric Appel (who co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Yankovic), “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” even has a parody biopic voiceover, with Diedrich Bader as an unseen and unidentified narrator saying things in a deep voice and overly serious tone. The movie has the expected childhood flashbacks, which are moderately amusing. “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” doesn’t really pick up steam until it gets to depicting the adult Yankovic. (For the purposes of this review, the real Yankovic will be referred to by his last name, while the Al Yankovic character in the movie will be referred to as Al.)

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” begins in the mid-1980s, by showing the adult Al in his 20s (played by Radcliffe) being rushed into a hospital emergency room, where he is attended to by a doctor (played by Lin-Manuel Miranda). The voiceover narrator says solemnly: “Life is like a parody of your favorite song. Just when you think you know all the words … surprise! You don’t know anything.” Why is Al in a hospital emergency room? The movie circles back to this scene later, to explain why.

After this scene in the hospital emergency room, the movie flashes back to Al’s childhood with Al (played by Richard Aaron Anderson), at about 9 or 10 years old, who considered himself to be a misfit in his own household. Born in 1959, Al grew up as an only child in the Los Angeles suburb of Lynwood, California. Al’s cranky father Nick (played by Toby Huss) works in a factory, and he expects Al to also become a factory worker when Al is an adult. Al’s loving mother Mary (played by Julianne Nicholson) is somewhat supportive of Al’s artistic interests, but she lives in fear of Nick, who has a nasty temper.

Nick openly mocks Al’s dreams to be a songwriter. One day during a meal at the family’s dining room table, Al’s parents listen to Al change the words of the gospel hymn “Amazing Grace” to “Amazing Grapes.” Nick is infuriated and says that this song parody is “blasphemy.” Mary tells Al that he should stop being himself. Feeling misunderstood, Al takes comfort in listening to his favorite radio shows, including those by his idol Dr. Demento.

Something happens that changes the course of Al’s life: An accordion salesman (played by Thomas Lennon) comes knocking on the Yankovic family’s door. Nick isn’t home at the time, but Al and Mary are there. Al is immediately dazzled by the accordion for sale, which is actually not shiny and new, but rather previously owned and worn-out. Al feels an instant connection to the music that comes out of this unusual instrument.

Al begs his mother to buy the accordion for him. Mary usually goes along with whatever Nick wants. (Nick wants Al to give up any dreams of being a musician.) But this time, Mary goes against what her husband wishes, and she secretly buys the accordion for Al. However, Mary has a condition for buying this accordion: Al must hide the accordion and only play the accordion when Nick isn’t there. Al agrees to this rule and becomes a skilled accordion player.

As a teenager, Al (played by David Bloom) is considered nerdy but likeable. His outlook on life begins to change when he plays the accordion at a house party full of kids from his high school. The response he gets is enthusiastic and full of praise. It’s the first time that Al feels outside validation for his accordion playing, and it gives him the confidence to decide that he will definitely be a musician and songwriter. Things turn sour at home though, when Nick finds out about the accordion and destroys it in a fit of anger.

After graduating from high school, Al moves to Los Angeles, where he lives with three guys who are close to his age: Jim (played by Jack Lancaster), Steve (played by Spencer Treat Clark) and Bermuda (played by Tommy O’Brien), whose interests are mainly dating women and partying. Al’s roommates encourage him to pursue his dreams, even though Al is constantly being rejected when he auditions for rock bands that have no interest in having an accordion player. (The movie has some comedic montages of these rejections.)

Al’s roommates aren’t fully aware of his talent for parodies until Al does an impromptu parody of The Knack’s 1979 hit “My Sharona” and turns it into his parody song “My Balogna” when he looks at some bologna in the kitchen. The roommates are so impressed that they volunteer to be his band members and encourage Al to make a recording demo that he can send to record companies, with the hope that he can get a record deal.

Al’s demo tape finds its way to brothers Tony Scotti (played by the real Yankovic) and Ben Scotti (played by Will Forte), who own Scotti Bros. Records. Tony and younger brother Ben (who are portrayed as shallow and mean-spirited music executives) are very dismissive of Al at first and don’t think a song like “My Balogna” could be a hit. Even though “My Balogna” has been getting some local radio airplay (including be a big hit on Southern California radio’s “The Captain Buffoon Show”), Tony and his “yes man” brother Ben don’t think there’s demand on a national level for albums from an accordion-playing, parody singer/songwriter.

But then, Al meets his idol Doctor Demento (played by Rainn Wilson, in perfect casting), who thinks Al is very talented and offers to become Al’s mentor. Dr. Demento suggests that Al change his stage name to “Weird Al” Yankovic. Al gets live performance gigs, sometimes as the opening act for Dr. Demento in the early 1980s.

Al also does a recording called “I Love Rocky Road” (referring to Rocky Road ice cream), a parody of “I Love Rock’n’Roll,” a song originally recorded by The Arrows in 1976, and was made into a chart-topping hit by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts in 1981. “I Love Rocky Road” gets some airplay on local radio (including Dr. Demento’s show), and it becomes a popular song requested by audiences. Suddenly, the Scotti Brothers are interested in signing Al to their record label.

One of the best scenes in the movie is early in Al’s career, before he was famous, when he’s invited to a house party at Dr. Demento’s place. The party guests are a “who’s who” of eccentric celebrities, including Andy Warhol (played by Conan O’Brien), Alice Cooper (played by Akiva Schaffer), Salvador Dalí (played by Emo Phillips), Divine (played by Nina West), Tiny Tim (played by Demetri Martin), Gallagher (played by Paul F. Tompkins) and Pee Wee Herman (played by Jorma Taccone). Observant viewers will also notice uncredited actors portraying Elvira, Frank Zappa and Grace Jones at the party.

At this party, radio/TV personality Wolfman Jack (played by Jack Black, in a hilarious cameo) is skeptical of Al’s talent, and he tries to humiliate Al, by challenging Al to do an impromptu parody of Queen’s 1980 hit “Another One Bites the Dust.” Queen bassist John Deacon (played by David Dastmalchian), who wrote “Another One Bites the Dust,” is also at the party and wants to see how this aspiring artist will rework one of Queen’s biggest hits. Al rises to the challenge and comes up with the parody “Another One Rides the Bus,” which tells comedic tale about the frustrations of riding a bus. Al the earns the respect of Wolfman Jack, Deacon and other skeptics at the party. Other well-known comedians who make cameos in the movie include Quinta Brunson as Oprah Winfrey, Patton Oswalt as an unnamed heckler, Michael McKean as a nightclub emcee, Arturo Castro as Pablo Escobar and Seth Green as a radio DJ.

The rest of “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is a wild and wacky ride that shows Al’s ascent in the music business, but he succumbs to some of the pitfalls of fame. “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” adds a lot of fiction about Yankovic’s life when the movie starts going into its more unusual tangents. For example, in real life, Yankovic had one of his biggest hits in 1984 with “Eat It,” a parody of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” But the movie puts a cheeky and offbeat twist on this part of Yankovic’s personal history, by making Al as the one to write the song first, and Michael Jackson “copied” the song by recording “Beat It,” without giving Al any songwriting credit.

Al’s dysfunctional romance with Madonna (played by Evan Rachel Wood) is also fabricated for the movie. (In real life, Yankovic says that he and Madonna never knew each other at all.) In the movie, Madonna and Al first meet sometime in 1983, when he’s a bigger star than she is, because she recently signed a deal to release her first album. Madonna is portrayed as an ambitious manipulator who had her sights set on Al after she found out that sales increase significantly for artists whose songs are parodied by Al.

Madonna and Al immediately begin a hot-and-heavy affair based mostly on lust. Madonna encourages Al to start abusing alcohol and acting like a difficult rock star. Al starts to alienate his bandmates/friends when he does things like show up late for rehearsals and act like an insufferable egomaniac. Madonna knows it’s easier to manipulate Al when he’s drunk, so she keeps him supplied with enough alcoholic drinks to keep him intoxicated.

It’s all part of Madonna’s plan to get Al to do a parody of one of her songs, so that her music sales can increase. (ln real life, Yankovic’s 1986 song “Like a Surgeon” was a parody of Madonna’s 1984 hit “Like a Virgin.”) But what Madonna, the Scotti Brothers and many other people didn’t expect was Al deciding that he was going to stop doing parodies and release an album of his own original songs. Al makes this decision after he accidentally takes LSD given to him by Dr. Demento, and Al has an epiphany that he has more to say to the world as a writer of his own original songs.

The movie has several moments that parody how superficial the entertainment industry can be, with the Madonna character being an obvious example of a showbiz leech. The Scotti Brothers characters are the epitome of greedy and fickle music executives who think they always know more than the artists signed to their record label. Al is portrayed as someone who enjoys his fame but also feels overwhelmed by it.

Even when with his fame and fortune, Al still craves the approval of his parents, who don’t really express that they are proud of him. At the height of Al’s success, he remained somewhat estranged from his parents. It’s a bittersweet part of the story that gives some emotional gravitas to this otherwise intentionally zany movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s a scene in the movie where Al, who has won Grammys and is a headliner of sold-out arena shows, calls his mother Mary to tell her about some of his accomplishments, but her response is the equivalent of someone saying, “That’s nice, dear,” and not being very interested.

Radcliffe (who is much shorter in height than the real Yankovic) makes up for not having a physical resemblance to Yankovic by bringing his own character interpretation of the real person. It’s not an impersonation but more like a re-imagining of what Yankovic is in this often-fabricated cinematic version of his life. Wood also turns in a memorable performance as Madonna, which might remind people more of Madonna’s chewing-gum-smacking movie character Susan from 1985’s “Desperately Seeking Susan” than the real Madonna.

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the music. The movie has some entertaining concert scenes and gives some insight into Yankovic’s songwriting and recording experiences. If the movie has any flaws, it’s the Madonna storyline, which becomes a one-note joke and drags on for a little too long. And because the movie ends in 1985, it doesn’t include Yankovic’s post-1985 forays into starring in movies and TV shows, directing music videos for other artists, and becoming a children’s book author. However, the movie cheats a little in the timeline, because it includes Yankovic’s 1996 song “Amish Paradise,” which is a parody of Coolio’s 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

The last scene of “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” might be a little too abrupt or off-putting for some viewers. But it’s an example of how this movie doesn’t want to be a conventional biopic. Yankovic’s original song “Now You Know,” which was recorded for the movie and plays during the end credits, makes a lot of meta references to the movie that are an example of this comedy film’s quirky tone. Even with all the oddball antics in the movie, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” succeeds in its message that good things can happen to people who aren’t afraid to be themselves.

The Roku Channel will premiere “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” on November 4, 2022.

Roku announces details of ‘The Great American Baking Show’

August 17, 2022

Pictured clockwise, from bottom left: Paul Hollywood, Ellie Kemper, Zach Cherry and Prue Leith (Photo courtesy of The Roku Channel)

The following is a press release from Roku:

Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) announced that Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Office) and Zach Cherry (Severance, Duncanville) signed on to co-host the Roku Original series “The Great American Baking Show.” Kemper and Cherry will take audiences into the iconic tent to watch contestants vying to become the America’s top baker. The highly anticipated U.S. adaptation of the iconic British competition series, “The Great British Baking Show,” will feature six 60-minute episodes, and will premiere in 2023. Production is underway in the United Kingdom.

Roku Original “The Great American Baking Show” is the American version of the most beloved baking show on the planet, bringing together passionate, talented bakers from around the country to see who will be named America’s Best Amateur Baker. Love Productions USA produces the all-new series. Love Productions USA brought the original hit series “The Great British Baking Show” to audiences, plus other adaptations of the competition series, including “The Great Celebrity Bake Off,” “The Great Junior Bake Off,” and more. In addition to Kemper and Cherry, judges featured in the original British iteration, celebrity chef Paul Hollywood and famed restauranteur Prue Leith, will serve as judges on “The Great American Baking Show.”

Brian Tannenbaum, Head of Alternative Originals, Roku: “We could not ask for a more perfect duo than Ellie and Zach to co-host ‘The Great American Baking Show.’ Our adaptation of the iconic series will continue to dish out the enduring warmth and humor that fans of the “Baking Show” universe love, with a twist that we know Ellie and Zach will deliver. The passion that fans have for this franchise is unmatched, and we’re so honored to kick off production with Love Productions USA to bring “The Great American Baking Show” exclusively to The Roku Channel.”

Ellie Kemper recently appeared in the latest installment of Home Alone, HOME SWEET HOME ALONE, available on Disney+. Before that, she appeared in the UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT INTERACTIVE SPECIAL as a conclusion to Tina Fey & Robert Carlock’s half-hour comedy for Netflix, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT. She received 2 Emmy nominations and 2 SAG Award nominations for her performance on the show. She also co-starred in the two renditions of LIVE IN FRONT OF A STUDIO AUDIENCE: NORMAN LEAR’S ALL IN THE FAMILY for ABC. Next up, she’ll be seen in Vicky Wight’s HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS debuting on NETFLIX later this year, opposite Luke Grimes.

In 2018, Ellie published her debut book of essays, MY SQUIRREL DAYS. She can be seen in Lynn Shelton’s film LAGGIES alongside Keira Knightley, as well as the Sony Pictures comedy SEX TAPE, directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. Ellie Kemper portrayed ‘Erin Hannon’ on the last 5 seasons of NBC’s series THE OFFICE. Kemper first gained attention with her one-woman show, “Feeling Sad/Mad,” at the UCB Theater. She co-starred in BRIDESMAIDS (Universal) and has also appeared in 21 JUMP STREET (Sony), IDENTITY THIEF (Universal), THEY CAME TOGETHER (Lionsgate) and SOMEWHERE (Focus Features).

Zach Cherry is a series regular on the Emmy-nominated thriller drama SEVERANCE on Apple +. He is also a series regular on the FOX animated comedy DUNCANVILLE, and can be seen in the Roku Original series MOST DANGEROUS GAME opposite Liam Hemsworth and Christof Waltz. He most recently recurred in HBO’s SUCCESSION, LIVING WITH YOURSELF on Netflix, YOU on Netflix. and was a series regular on NBC’s I FEEL BAD.

Other TV credits include the lead voice role in the Comedy Central animated movie WASHINGTONIA, recurring roles as the voice of ‘Ben Carson’ on Showtime’s OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT, TBS’s THE LAST OG, HBO’s CRASHING, SyFy’s THE MAGICIANS, FOX’s THE RESIDENT, and TBS’s SEARCH PARTY. On the film side, he can currently be seen in SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. He’s appeared in SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING, Stephen Soderbergh’s thriller UNSANE opposite Claire Foy, AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN with Aubrey Plaza and Craig Robinson, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC with Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth, and IRREPLACEABLE YOU alongside Gugu Mbatha Raw.

Executive producers for “The Great American Baking Show” are Richard McKerrow, Al Edgington, Joe LaBracio, Jeremy Finn and John Hesling.

Love Productions USA develops and produces addictively watchable unscripted competition formats and award-winning documentary series for network, cable and premium streaming services. It is a division of the UK-based Love Productions, which operates under the SKY umbrella, with an impressive portfolio of thought-provoking programs across all genres and platforms, including the extremely popular formats, “The Great British Bake-Off,” “The Great British Sewing Bee” and “The Great Pottery Throw Down.”

Known for taking successful formats from the UK to the US with distinctive adaptations, Love Productions USA also develops original premium long-form television, documentary and short-form programming. The company is helmed by Emmy(R) Award-winning producers Joe LaBracio and Al Edgington, who have a proven track record in documentaries, scripted and unscripted entertainment, features, and daytime television.

The Roku Channel is the exclusive home of Roku Originals. From award-winning scripted entertainment and engaging documentaries to new breakout unscripted series, Roku Originals gives viewers free access to bold, fresh entertainment from the biggest names in Hollywood. Half of the top 10 on-demand titles by reach on The Roku Channel in 2021 were Roku Originals.

Launched in 2017, The Roku Channel is the home of free and premium entertainment on the Roku platform. In Q4 2021, The Roku Channel reached U.S. households with an estimated 80 million people. The Roku Channel was a top 5 channel on the Roku platform in the U.S. by active account reach and streaming hour engagement in Q2 2022. Today, The Roku Channel features a diverse lineup of more than 80,000 free movies and programs and over 300 free live linear television channels in the U.S. It licenses and distributes content from more than 250 partners. In addition to Roku devices, The Roku Channel is available on Web, iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and select Samsung TVs and can be accessed internationally in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

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About Roku, Inc.

Roku pioneered streaming to the TV. We connect users to the streaming content they love, enable content publishers to build and monetize large audiences, and provide advertisers with unique capabilities to engage consumers. Roku streaming players and TV-related audio devices are available in the U.S. and in select countries through direct retail sales and licensing arrangements with service operators. Roku TV(TM) models are available in the U.S. and in select countries through licensing arrangements with TV brands. Roku is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. U.S.A.

This press release contains “forward-looking” statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to the content, benefits, features, timing, and availability of Roku Originals on The Roku Channel, including “The Great American Baking Show”; trends related to TV streaming; and the features, benefits, growth and reach of The Roku Channel and the Roku platform. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are detailed from time to time in the reports Roku, Inc. files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Roku’s website and are available from Roku without charge.

Roku is a registered trademark of Roku, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries. Trade names, trademarks and service marks of other companies appearing in this press release are the property of their respective holders.

Roku announces 2022 premiere dates for Roku Channel shows starring Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and Christopher Kimball

August 10, 2022

Martha Stewart (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Roku:

Roku has announced the series premiere dates for the all-new Roku Original series “Emeril Tailgates,” “Emeril Cooks,” “Martha Gardens,” “Martha Cooks,” “Martha Holidays,” “Milk Street’s Cooking School,” and “Milk Street’s My Family Recipe.”

In addition to the all-new original series, complete past seasons of Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, and Christopher Kimball series are headed to The Roku Channel. Nearly 3,000 episodes of compelling library content are available to streamers from the vault for free.

PREMIERE DATES

EMERIL LAGASSE:

· “Emeril Tailgates” (16 episodes) – September 8, 2022

Football fans are notoriously competitive… and not just in stadiums cheering on their teams, but at tailgate parties too. There’s always a fight over who makes the best chili, who brought the best wings, whose barbeque beef brisket reigns supreme. Well, now Emeril is going to help one lucky football fan win that fight at his next gathering. Each week on Emeril Tailgates, we will profile a different football-obsessed city and a home team super fan. We’ll surprise the fan with a trip to Emeril’s New Orleans kitchen to learn a new tailgate dish that will make their friends and family proud.

· “Emeril Cooks” (10 episodes) – November 18, 2022

From piping hot beignets borne in the French Quarter, to icy cold sake made with Louisiana-grown rice, New Orleans’ unique blend of tradition and innovation is what fuels Emeril’s cooking. Each week on Emeril Cooks, we’ll meet a New Orleans local who sparks Emeril’s culinary imagination. Guests like the crawfish concierge at a luxury hotel, or a local farmer (known as The Mushroom Lady) who helps keep Emeril’s classic smoked mushroom pasta on the menu. We’ll invite these special guests into Emeril’s kitchen where they’ll see firsthand how he makes the dishes they helped inspire.

MARTHA STEWART:

· “Martha Gardens” (12 episodes) – October 14, 2022

Welcome to Martha’s Bedford Farm, the embodiment of the perfect farming and gardening life so many dream about! But just what does it take to keep up with more than 150 acres of gardens, pastures, greenhouses, orchards, animals, and more? In Martha Gardens, Martha will teach America how to garden like she does. Experience a year in the life of her farm told through monthly episodes – plus the tips, tricks, and tools every gardener – novice or expert – needs to be successful and have fun.

· “Martha Cooks” (10 episodes, debuting two per week) – November 16, 2022

From eggs from Martha’s chickens cooked to perfection to a delicious strawberry jam made with ripe berries from her garden, Martha welcomes us onto her Bedford farm and into her kitchen to share some of her personal favorite recipes. Learn everything from Martha’s techniques for preparing paella for a crowd to how to bake Martha’s three favorite cookies of all time. Working with world-renowned chefs and dear friends, she will share techniques and how-to instructions like only Martha can.

· “Martha Holidays” (7 episodes) – November 18, 2022

There is something so magical about celebrations during the holidays! On Martha Holidays, Martha will reveal the best dishes to serve from dazzling desserts to scrumptious roasts and the perfect roast turkey. Plus decorating tips, gift ideas, crafts and so many things that make the season special. Martha Holidays will bring to life the joy of watching the holidays done beautifully.

MILK STREET – CHRIS KIMBALL:

· “Milk Street’s Cooking School” (10 episodes) – October 28, 2022

Christopher Kimball brings “Milk Street’s Cooking School” to The Roku Channel. With appealing, approachable recipes from around the world, Kimball and his team of experts seek to inspire home cooks to try new techniques, ingredients, and tools that will make them more confident, more successful, and more excited to get in the kitchen.

· “Milk Street’s My Family Recipe” (10 episodes) – October 28, 2022

Few things evoke such emotion as food shared with family. With a combination of historical context and modern culinary know-how, Christopher Kimball and James Beard Award finalist Cheryl Day will help home cooks recreate lost or forgotten cherished family recipes. “My Family Recipe” is more than a cooking show-it’s a show about history, community, family, and memories, and how food ties it all together.

The Roku Channel is the exclusive home of Roku Originals. From award-winning scripted entertainment and engaging documentaries to new breakout unscripted series, Roku Originals give viewers free access to bold, fresh entertainment from the biggest names in Hollywood. Half of the top 10 on-demand titles by reach on The Roku Channel in 2021 were Roku Originals.

Launched in 2017, The Roku Channel is the home of free and premium entertainment on the Roku platform. In Q4 2021, The Roku Channel reached U.S. households with an estimated 80 million people. The Roku Channel was a top 5 channel on the Roku platform in the U.S. by active account reach and streaming hour engagement in Q2 2022. Today, The Roku Channel features a diverse lineup of more than 80,000 free movies and programs and more than 300 free linear television channels in the U.S. It licenses and distributes content from more than 300 partners. In addition to Roku devices, The Roku Channel is available on Web, iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and select Samsung TVs and can be accessed internationally in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Marquee Brands is a leading global brand owner, marketer, and media company. Owned by investor funds managed by Neuberger Berman, one of the world’s leading employee-owned investment managers, Marquee Brands targets high-quality brands with strong consumer awareness and long-term growth potential. Marquee Brands seeks to identify brands in various consumer product segments with the goal of expanding their reach across retail channels, geography, and product category while preserving the brand heritage and enhancing the ultimate consumer experience. The portfolio includes Martha Stewart, The BCBG Group, Ben Sherman, Dakine, Sur La Table, Body Glove, Emeril Lagasse, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in a Pod, and Bruno Magli. Through its global team of professionals and partners, Marquee Brands monitors trends and markets in order to grow and manage brands in partnership with retailers, licensees, and manufacturers through engaging, impactful strategic planning, marketing, and e-commerce.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street is located at 177 Milk Street in downtown Boston and is dedicated to changing the way America cooks with new flavor combinations and techniques learned around the world. Milk Street is home to Milk Street TV, a three-time Emmy Award winning public television show, a James Beard Award-winning bimonthly magazine, an award-winning radio show/podcast, a cooking school, and an online retail store with over 1,500 kitchen tools and ingredients. Milk Street is the author of 10 cookbooks, including “Cookish,” “Vegetables,” and the James Beard winning “Milk Street: Tuesday Nights.” Milk Street also invests in non-profit outreach, partnering with FoodCorp, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston and the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester.

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