“The Newsreader” Debuts in March
Roku, Inc. announced that multi-award-winning Australian drama series, The Newsreader, will debut in the United States exclusively as a Roku Original on The Roku Channel. The series will premiere on March 18. Set in the 1986 and centered around the frantic world of broadcast news, The Newsreader follows the unconventional relationship between an ambitious young TV reporter and the difficult star female news anchor as they cover extraordinary current events of the time. Featured fourth in Variety’s Top 13 list of The Best International TV Shows of 2021, The Newsreader is a six-part series with one-hour episodes. The Roku Channel acquired The Newsreader from Entertainment One (eOne), the series’ international distributor.
In the maelstrom of a commercial television newsroom in 1986, Dale Jennings (Sam Reid) is a diligent young reporter, desperate to become a newsreader. Helen Norville (Anna Torv) is a notoriously ‘difficult’ star newsreader determined to build credibility. Paired together over three months, Dale and Helen will cover an extraordinary chain of news events – from the shock of the Challenger explosion, to the hype of Halley’s Comet, to the complexities of the AIDS crisis. From messy beginnings, a deep bond is formed that will upend their lives and transform the very fabric of the nightly news bulletin. The Newsreader is the story of a grand, unconventional relationship in a world on the cusp of change.
The Newsreader received critical acclaim and multiple accolades in its native Australia, scoring more nominations at the 2021 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards than any other program that year. The series earned an incredible 16 nominations, winning in multiple prominent categories including Best Drama Series, Best Lead Actress in a Drama (Anna Torv), Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (William McInnes), Best Direction in a Drama or Comedy (Emma Freeman) and Best Production Design in Television (Melinda Doring).
Colin Davis, Head of Scripted Originals at Roku: “Great content comes from all over the world, and we could not be more thrilled to bring The Newsreader to American audiences exclusively as a Roku Original. As we continue to expand our Roku Originals slate, it is exciting to bring this type of incredibly well-written, award-winning programming to millions of Roku Channel viewers for free.
Michael Lucas, Creator, Writer and Producer of The Newsreader: We were absolutely thrilled when we found out that The Newsreader would make its American debut on The Roku Channel and can’t wait for viewers to see the incredible performances of our ensemble, led by the phenomenal Anna Torv and Sam Reid as Helen and Dale. The Newsreader incorporates many iconic news stories that gripped the US in the 80s, but more than anything, we hope that the drama and emotion of the series resonates with American audiences.”
The Newsreader features a strong ensemble cast including Anna Torv, Sam Reid, Robert Taylor, William McInnes, Chum Ehelepola, Michelle Lim Davidson, Stephen Peacocke, Chai Hansen and Marg Downey.
The Newsreader is created and written by Michael Lucas (Offspring, Five Bedrooms). Produced by Lucas and three-time Emmy nominated producer Joanna Werner (Clickbait, Dance Academy), the series is directed by Emma Freeman (Stateless, Love Me). Executive produced by Werner and Stuart Menzies (The Cry), with ABC executive producers Sally Riley and Brett Sleigh. The Newsreader is produced by multi-award-winning Werner Film Productions, for the ABC in Australia, with major investment from Screen Australia and the ABC and financed with support from Film Victoria.
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.
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 five channel on the Roku platform in the U.S. by active account reach in Q3 and Q4 2021. Today, The Roku Channel features a diverse lineup of more than 80,000 free movies and programs and over 270 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.
For more information, visit https://therokuchannel.roku.com.
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 Newsreader”; 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 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.
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