Roku, Inc. purchased the video assets of the now-defunct streaming service Quibi last year, making the short-form videos available for free on The Roku Channel as Roku Originals. But that acquisition didn't end Roku's pursuit of original programming, and Roku has announced that it is launching two new unscripted series, "Survival From Above" and "Lincoln Log Project," and a docuseries "The Lesbian Bar Project," as well as renewing "Doomlands" for a second season. Here are more details on all four of these series.
- Survival from Above - This climbing-based reality series is based in the South American rainforest and according to Outside's Climbing.com, "promises more educational tidbits, better scenery, and a whole lot more climbing" than the Netflix climbing-based reality show "The Floor is Lava." Executive Casting and Talent Producer Charlie Pheby said that he was looking for rock climbers, ice climbers, arborists, and climbing instructors to respond to a casting call, but Climbing says this is still "a solo survival challenge based entirely within a forest canopy... At the start of Survival from Above, contestants will have a brief opportunity to scavenge supplies from the forest floor before taking to the trees for the remainder of the show. Contestants will be given climbing equipment and survival tools, and sent to the treetops to outlast their competitors." Filming is expected to begin in September 2022 in Guyana, and the show should arrive on The Roku Channel sometime in 2023.
- Lincoln Log Project - This tentatively-named reality series will follow "master builders as they design and construct dream-home versions of the classic log cabin from the ground up," according to a report from RealScreen. "Each episode will showcase the artisanal, custom-crafted build process, and will culminate with a reveal as the keys to the completed cabin are turned over to the new owners." Eight one-hour episodes are planned, with a 2023 debut.
- The Lesbian Bar Project - This three-part docuseries "will spotlight Lesbian bars and the colorful communities that they serve across the United States" according to a Roku press release. "In the 1980s, there were roughly 200 Lesbian Bars in the United States. Today, there are fewer than 25. As these bars disappear, co-directors Erica Rose and Elina Street established "The Lesbian Bar Project" to celebrate, support, and amplify the remaining Lesbian bars. Each episode of [the] series will tell the lively and powerful stories of different Lesbian bar owners and patrons in Houston, Phoenix, and Chicago." Look for "The Lesbian Bar Project" on The Roku Channel this October.
- Doomlands - This adult animated series takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where Danny Doom and Lhandi sling beers in their mobile subterranean pub The Oasis, while facing desert gangs, memory-stealing creeps, and mean bathroom graffiti. Doomlands has been compared to "Rick and Morty" with "a similar dark comedy approach." Ten 11-minute episodes are currently available on The Roku Channel and a trailer for the show can be streamed below.
The two reality series were announced at the Banff World Media Festival on June 14, where Brian Tannenbaum, Roku's head of alternative originals, commented that "Today’s series greenlights plant Roku Originals' flag in the adventure and exploration unscripted genres, which will not only excite our current streamer base but also attract new audiences to the Roku Channel."