Roku Lands First Non-U.S. Original With ‘Children Ruin Everything’, From ‘Schitt’s Creek’s Kurt Smeaton & Producer Of ‘Letterkenny’



In the latest expansion of its original programming slate, Roku has bagged its first non-U.S. title with Children Ruin Everything, from Letterkenny producer New Metric Media.

Commissioned by Bell Media’s CTV in 2020, the series was created by Emmy winner Kurt Smeaton, whose credits include Schitt’s Creek and Kim’s Convenience. It will come to the Roku Channel in 2022.

Children Ruin Everything is “about living with the worst roommates of all: young children,” per the official logline. The show’s lead characters, Astrid and James, look to find a balance between parenting and staying in touch with their pre-parenting selves.

Meaghan Rath and Aaron Abrams star. The cast also includes Ennis Esmer and Nazaneen Contractor. Chuck Tatham, whose credits include Modern Family and Arrested Development, and Mark Montefiore, known for Letterkenny and What Would Sal Do? are executive producers. Beth Iley (Killjoys) is producer.

Roku shared the news during a session at Advertising Week in New York. During the session, the company also said that the offerings of the Roku Channel, which launched in 2017, have increased significantly. Long described as having 40,000 on-demand movie and TV titles, the channel now has 80,000, according to the company’s updated estimate. More than 200 live, linear channels and a selection of subscription services also have space on the channel.

The Roku Originals banner debuted earlier this year, with its initial foundation provided by several dozen Quibi shows acquired from the shuttered streaming outlet. The company has steadily been expanding beyond that initial scope.

In layering originals over a swath of acquired programming, Roku is running a version of the playbook first introduced by Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video operation. Viewing data from the Roku Channel’s acquired fare offers “helpful indicators for us about what our audience is excited about and gravitating towards,” Roku head of scripted originals Colin Davis told Deadline in an interview.

He praised Children Ruin Everything as “endearing, funny, and painfully relatable.” The deal to stream the show on the Roku Channel, he added, “represents an exciting step in the growth of Roku Originals as we continue to build up our slate with a great variety of originals from all over the world.”

Smeaton said the show was inspired by his own experience as a parent, “where every plan my wife and I made was thwarted by our kids in surprising and funny ways.”


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