Acquired from Entertainment One (eOne), sparks fly and tensions run high in this gripping drama set against the backdrop of the fast-paced and cutthroat world of broadcast news in 1986
Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) today 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.
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Roku Original "The Newsreader" launches on Friday, March 18. (Photo: Business Wire)
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.
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