By Tammy Reese
Roku Originals Greenlights All-New Lifestyle Series Morimoto’s Sushi Master and The Cupcake Guys; Sets Premiere Date & Hosts for Inaugural Spanish Language Original Series ¡Que Delicioso!
Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) announced two all-new Roku Original unscripted series, Morimoto’s Sushi Master and The Cupcake Guys, and the premiere date for Roku’s inaugural Spanish-language, original series ¡Que Delicioso!.
Morimoto’s Sushi Master features renowned chef and restauranter Masaharu Morimoto as head judge of a cooking competition centered on the world’s most popular cuisine: sushi. Hosted by Lyrica Okano (Marvel’s Runaways), the six-episode series highlights the skill, ingredients, delicacy and talent needed to perfect the art of sushi-making. Eight competing sushi chefs will work to impress Morimoto, along with judges Chef Dakota Weiss, Executive Chef of Santa Fe’s famed Coyote Café and former co-owner of Sweetfin Poke, and Chef Kenji Lopez-Alt, New York Times food columnist and author of bestselling cookbook The Food Lab. Produced by Ample Entertainment, Ari Mark, Phil Lott, Kathryn Vaughn, Liz Cook and Masuhira Morimoto serve as executive producers.
The Cupcake Guys follows former NFL teammates Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo, and their longtime friend Bryan Hynson, as they go from football stars to cupcake kings. The six-episode docu-series follows the entrepreneurs operating a Gigi’s Cupcake franchise in their hometown of Austin, Texas. Featuring themes of family, friendship, football, and of course, frosting, The Cupcake Guys will serve up something for all to enjoy. Produced by The Story Lab and SMAC Productions, a division of SMAC Entertainment. Roy Bank, Michael Strahan, Constance Schwartz-Morini, and FredAnthony Smith executive produce for SMAC Productions. Mike Ferry and Cathy Boxall also serve as executive producers for The Story Lab.
¡Que Delicioso!, Roku’s inaugural Spanish language original series, is set to premiere on Friday, November 25. Renowned chefs Marcela Valladolid and Chris Valdes will both host and judge the seven-episode competition which celebrates Latin cuisine. Produced by World of Wonder and Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Richard Borjas, John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa serve as executive producers and Moira Noriega as co-executive producer.
“The addition of Morimoto’s Sushi Master, The Cupcake Guys and ¡Que Delicioso! to the Roku Originals lineup encapsulates our commitment to premium, original series that are representative and reflective of our diverse streaming audience,” shared Brian Tannenbaum, Head of Alternative Originals, Roku. “Each of these series offers a fresh take on formats that we know will instantly connect with our audience, and we look forward to sharing these projects on The Roku Channel.”
The new series join the expanding slate of alternative Roku Originals, including The Great American Baking Show, To Paris for Love: A Reality Rom-Com, Honest Renovations, Lincoln Log Masters, Match Me in Miami, The Marriage Pact, Martha Gardens, Martha Cooks, Martha Holidays, Emeril Cooks, Emeril Tailgates, Milk Street’s My Family Recipe, Milk Street’s Cooking School and more.
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 Q3 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.
About AMPLE Entertainment
Founded by Ari Mark and Phil Lott, AMPLE Entertainment is a production company dedicated to hands-on, filmmaker led premium content. Since launching six years ago, the company has produced multiple series, specials and documentaries including The Invisible Pilot (HBO) with Adam McKay, 9 Months with Courteney Cox (Facebook), Could You Survive The Movies? (YouTube Originals), Murder in the Heartland (Discovery+), Lost Gold of World War II (History), The Lost Women of NXIVM (Investigation Discovery), Cold Case Files (A&E, Netflix), Queen of Versailles Reigns Again (Discovery+) among many more.
The company is developing and producing a slate of premium films and series, including the upcoming natural-history film Kangaroo Valley (Netflix), the competition format Sushi Masters (Roku) with culinary icon Chef Masaharu Morimoto, the feature documentary After the Fyre with Fremantle Media, and several unannounced premium stranger-than-fiction limited series.
Ample has won Emmy Awards for their YouTube series Could You Survive the Movies? and 9 Months with Courteney Cox for Facebook. In 2020, the company launched Ample Nature, the first dedicated Los Angeles-based natural-history unit.
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About SMAC Productions
SMAC Productions, a division of SMAC Entertainment, a company founded by Constance Schwartz-Morini and Michael Strahan, develops and produces premium scripted and non-scripted content across television, film, and audio for a wide range of networks and distributors, including HBO, Showtime, ABC, CBS, ESPN, E!, DIRECTV, NFL Network, Nickelodeon, Roku, and Prime Video. Among their credits are: $100,000 Pyramid (ABC), More Than An Athlete — Michael Strahan (ESPN), The Cost of Winning (HBO), Play it Forward (Showtime), and Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker’s Wild (TNT). Upcoming projects include: Coach Prime (Prime Video), BS High (HBO), and The Cupcake Guys (Roku). SMAC is also developing the scripted series Cayne for BET+ based on Ian Smith’s novel The Unspoken. For more information, visit www.smac-ent.com.
About The Story Lab
The Story Lab is part of dentsu International, a global investor, Emmy-nominated production company, and distributor of premium entertainment content (original TV series, animation, documentaries, and feature films). The Story Lab is headquartered in London with offices around the world, including Lagos, Singapore, Paris, Madrid, Sydney, and Mumbai. The Story Lab US is based in Los Angeles, CA.
About World of Wonder
World of Wonder (WOW) has reshaped international pop culture, earning 30 Emmys, inspiring two Oscars, creating global network WOW Presents Plus across 190 territories, and bringing drag culture to the world stage via RuPaul’s Drag Race and DragCon. WOW’s pioneering television portfolio includes other smash-hit franchises like Million Dollar Listing. Their film division WOW Docs produces groundbreaking documentaries including Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Party Monster, and The Eyes of Tammy Faye. WOW also operates YouTube channel WOWPresents, music label World of Wonder Records, the WOW Podcast Network, and year-round international live events. Co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have been profiled in Variety’s Reality TV Impact Report. Honors for their trailblazing work include the IDA Pioneer Award, Realscreen’s Global 100 list, and the OUT 100. In 2022, World of Wonder was ranked #2 among film and TV powerhouses in Fast Company’s World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.
About El Rey
El Rey Network, launched by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, FactoryMade and his artistic collective, is an inclusive, Latinx-inclusive, streaming brand that revels in the courage, craftsmanship and creativity of ordinary people on extraordinary journeys. The free, 24-hour English-language entertainment and lifestyle platform puts a distinctive lens on popular culture for the most diverse generation in history. Featuring a lineup of heroic series, films and original fare, the El Rey Network brand continues to unite “the new mainstream” through fearless content that creates conversation, community and awakens the renegade in everyone. Follow us @ElReyNetwork on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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™ models are available in the U.S. and in select countries through licensing arrangements with TV OEM brands. Roku Smart Home products, including cameras, video doorbells, lighting, plugs, and more are available in the U.S. Roku is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. U.S.A.
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Tammy Reese began her career as a theater actress performing in 60 live stage shows a year with The Media Unit TV and Stage Production Company. She also directed the weekly live TV show Rough Times Live.
Eventually, she went to Empire State College to obtain her degree in media studies. After graduation, she did more theater and wrote and produced her own videos to spread awareness on social issues through the arts.
Tammy is an award-winning journalist and is best known for her legendary interviews with Sigourney Weaver, Meagan Good, Laurence Fishburne, Mona Scott- Young, B. Scott, Jackie Long, Omar Epps, Joseph Sikora, Tonya Pinkins, Carmen Electra, Giancarlo Esposito, Leon, Patina Miller, Nelly, RL, Neyo, Bobby V, Geena Davis, Michael James Shaw, Syleena Johnson, Courtney Kemp, Keith Robinson, Janet Hubert, Tom Arnold, Donell Jones, Slim and Mike of 112, Michole Briana White, Matt Cedeño, Raven Goodwin, Amber Riley, Serayah, Ginuwine and many more.
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