Roku Sets U.S. “The Great Baking Show” Adaptation with Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry (TV News Roundup)

Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry have signed on to co-host the Roku Original series “The Great American Baking Show.” Kemper and Cherry will take audiences into the iconic tent to watch contestants vying to become the America’s top baker.

A U.S. adaptation of the popular British competition series “The Great British Baking Show,” the new show will feature six 60-minute episodes and will premiere in 2023. In addition to Kemper and Cherry, judges featured in the original British iteration, celebrity chef Paul Hollywood and famed restauranteur Prue Leith, will serve as judges on “The Great American Baking Show.”

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Love Productions USA is handling production, which is underway in the United Kingdom. Executive producers for the series are Richard McKerrow, Al Edgington, Joe LaBracio, Jeremy Finn and John Hesling.


• Mattel’s “Pictionary,” hosted by Jerry O’Connell, is set to premiere nationally on September 12. O’Connell hosts the family favorite game show based on Mattel’s popular board game of quick sketches and comedic guesses.

The broadcast version of “Pictionary” will follow the same rules of at-home play. Celebrity captains, including Amanda Seales, Loni Love, Cristela Alonzo, Ross Mathews, Amanda Kloots, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Natalie Morales and more, lead two teams of three as players draw clues for teammates to guess winning words or phrases. The 30-minute national daytime series is produced by Fox First Run as well as Bill’s Market and Television Production and distributed by CBS Media Ventures. The show will air on Fox-owned stations in major markets, among other stations nationwide.

The show is executive produced by David Hurwitz, Noah Bonnett and Richard Brown. Fred Soulie and Phil Breman serve as co-executive producers for Mattel. Watch a first look here.

• “Extraordinary with Fareed Zakaria” will premiere on Saturday, August 20 on CNN, with two hour-long specials. In them, Zakaria talks with music artist Billy Joel and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in back-to-back broadcasts. From his in southern Florida, Joel and Zakaria talk about the inspiration behind Joel’s hits “Uptown Girl” and “Movin’ Out” and more.  Joel also describes how getting to know his father and half-brother later in life has impacted his music. Zakaria’s interview with Coppola comes during the 50th anniversary of the release of “The Godfather,” with the director also reflecting upon his other creative inspirations, and becoming a vintner.


• Peacock has released a trailer for the upcoming apocalyptic thriller series “Last Light,” which stars Matthew Fox in his first acting role in seven years. In an adaptation from Alex Scarrow’s novel of the same name, Fox stars as a father whose family must fight to survive during the fallout of an oil crisis. Alongside Fox, the series stars Joanne Froggatt, Alyth Ross, Taylor Fay, Amber Rose Revah, Victor Alli, Tom Wlaschiha and Hakeem Jomah.

Dennie Gordon directed all the episodes and executive produced alongside Fox, William Choi, Sydney Gallonde, Rikke Ennis, Patrick Renault, Diego Piasek, Patrick Massett and John Zinman, with Rola Bauer and Steven Johnson co-executive producing. The five-part limited drama is produced by MGM International Television Productions in association with Peacock, Viaplay Group, MBC, Peacock and Stan.

The series will begin streaming on Thursday, September 8 on Peacock. Check out the trailer below.



• Paramount+ announced production has begun in Vancouver on new young adult drama series, “School Spirits,” starring Peyton List, and based on the upcoming graphic novel by Nate & Megan Trinrud and Maria Nguyen. The service also announced additional cast members joining the series alongside List, including Kristian Flores as Simon Elroy, Spencer MacPherson as Xavier Baxter, Kiara Pichardo as Nicole Herrera, Sarah Yarkin as Rhonda, Nick Pugliese as Charley, Rainbow Wedell as Claire Zolinski and Milo Manheim as Wally Clark. Josh Zuckerman and Maria Dizzia will have recurring guest star roles as Mr. Martin and Sandra Nears, respectively.

“School Spirits” focuses on a teen stuck in the afterlife who decides to investigate her mysterious disappearance alongside a group of other students who are also stuck in limbo at their high school. Oliver Goldstick serves as showrunner and executive producer, along with Nate and Megan Trinrud, who wrote the pilot. Max Winkler will direct and executive produce. Produced by the Awesomeness Live-Action Studio, the eight-episode season is set to debut in 2023 exclusively on Paramount+. The graphic novel is planned for publication in fall 2023 by Clarion Books/HarperAlley, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books.


• “Monarch,” FOX’s upcoming musical drama about America’s leading family of country music, starring Susan Sarandon, Trace Adkins and Anna Friel, will also include special appearances from country stars Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Little Big Town and Tanya Tucker, who are all set to guest star throughout the season. The show centers on the Roman family, a country music dynasty whose foundation is built on a lie, putting their reign as country royalty into jeopardy.

“Monarch” will debut with a special two-night event, beginning Sunday, Sept. 11, immediately following the FOX NFL doubleheader.


• Josh Sapan of AMC Networks will join the Columbia Business School Executives in Residence program as an executive mentor for its upcoming semester. Sapan has been the President and CEO of AMC Networks for 26 years, running well-known drama series such as “Mad Men,” “Better Call Saul” and “The Walking Dead” during his long tenure with the network. The program is led by Director Al Drewes, a former senior VP and CFO of Pepsi, and is comprised of 28 senior executives and other senior advisors from a wide variety of industry verticals who mentor students within the program.


• “The Idea of America,” highlighting immigrants’ perceptions of the U.S. and what it means to be American, through the lens of the American movies they watched when they were young, has been announced by Turner Classic Movies. Nine immigrants will join TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz to discuss the movies that shaped their idea of the U.S. before they moved to the country, which are listed below:

  • Hemrani Vyas, introducing “To Hell and Back”

  • Vera Petrovic, introducing “Holiday Affair”

  • Ali Estefam, introducing “Cool Hand Luke”

  • Gabriel Bitton, introducing “Splendor in the Grass”

  • Ash Nega, introducing “The Champ”

  • Crystal Lee, introducing “Love Story”

  • Ted Ayllón, introducing “Higher and Higher”

  • Abdi Iftin, author of “Call Me American,” introducing “Badlands”

  • Sushma Barakoti, introducing To Kill a Mockingbird

Programming begins Friday, September 9 and continues the following two Fridays.


• Roku announced Tuesday the launch of 14 new linear channels on The Roku Channel and to its Live TV Guide, including Roku Channel Westerns and additional NBCUniversal Local news channels for San Diego, Boston and the Bay Area. The streamer has also added NBCUniversal Local’s LX News, a news network intended for adults ages 18-45. Other channels include six Scripp channels: Bounce XL, Court TV, Grit Xtra, Ion, Ion Mystery and Ion Plus. These Scripp channels feature various true crime, drama and action series, such as “NCIS,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order” and “Hawaii Five-O.”

• Vice World News announced that it will be launching a news channel on the streaming platform Twitch, with live twice-weekly shows. The two-hour show will debut August 23 and air Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. ET on the Vice World News channel. Co-hosted by Dexter Thomas and Samir Ferdowsi, the show will offer takes on major news stories and highlight Vice News’ scoops and investigations. Episodes will be streamed from VICE News HQs in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and London, and will beam in journalists from around the world.


• Crunchyroll announced the seventh edition of the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, which will take place in Japan for the first time ever on March 4, 2023.

The live ceremony will be held the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo and will bring together creatives from all across the anime community. The event will also be streamed on Crunchyroll’s social channels. Last year, a record 16.9 million votes were cast for nominees representing nearly 40 anime studios across eight streaming platforms. Nominees and voting will open early next year. Nominees and voting will open early next year.

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