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 six-episode 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. The Roku Channel acquired The Newsreader from Entertainment One (eOne).
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).
“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,” said Colin Davis, Head of Scripted Originals at Roku.
“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.”
Creator, writer and producer Michael Lucas added: “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 series stars 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).
The show is executive produced by Werner and Stuart Menzies (The Cry), with ABC executive producers Sally Riley and Brett Sleigh.
It 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.