Roku Acquires Quibi’s Programming, Including Nicole Richie’s “Nikki Fre$h” Series

Nicole Richie is freshening up Roku

Roku has acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to the portfolio of Quibi’s programs, including the 39-year-old part-Mexican American actress & television personality’s series Nikki Fre$h.

Nicole Richie

In its biggest original programming foray to date, Roku’s acquisition covers most of the recently shuttered mobile-only streaming venture’s library, while some daily news shows aren’t part of the package.

A key draw for Roku is the talent, a roster including Richie, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe.

The lineup includes titles like Most Dangerous Game, Dummy, Murder House Flip and the Reno 911 reboot, starring Carlos Alazraqui.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, though the valuation is said to be less than $100 million, according to insiders. Roku shares rose 5% to $398.60 on the news. At one point early in the trading day, they reached $402.81, an all-time high.

The programming will be available for free starting later this year. Shows will have advertising, as they did on the $5-a-month Quibi service, and they’ll be housed on the Roku Channel. The hub for free and premium streaming channels, including 150-plus free live, linear offerings, has become a mainstay of the company’s strategy since Roku launched it in 2017. By the fourth quarter of 2020, it was being viewed by households representing an estimated 61.8 million people, the company said, double its reach at the end of 2019.

“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” said Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”

Carlos Alazraqui to Star in Quibi’s “Reno 911” Reboot

Carlos Alazraqui is joining the force

The 57-year-old Argentine American actor has been cast in Quibi and Comedy Central Productions’ Reno 911 reboot,starring co-creators Robert Ben GarantThomas Lennon, and Kerri Kenney-Silver.

Carlos Alazraqui

Alazraqui portrayed deputy James Garcia on the original Reno 911!, which ran for six seasons on Comedy Central, ending in 2009

In addition to Alazraqui, the new additions include Niecy NashWendi McLendon-Coveyand Cedric YarbroughIan RobertsJoe LoTruglioand Mary Birdsongwill all be featured.

Reno 911

Reno 911 is an ensemble comedy created by and starring Garant, Kenney-Silver and Lennon, all attached to write and star in the new season. 

Reno 911let viewers ride shotgun with the “courageous” men and women of the Reno Sheriff’s Department.

Quibi launches April 6.

Alazraqui is also known for his voice work, including roles in Toy Story3A Bug’s Lifeand The Book of Life.

Armisen to Guest-Star on ABC’s “Modern Family”

Fred Armisen is a Modern man…

The 45-year-old half-Venezuelan actor and former Saturday Night Live star, who recently appeared on ABC’s Super Fun Night, has landed a guest-starring role on Modern Family.

Fred Armisen

In an upcoming episode, the six adults that form part of the ABC sitcom’s four-time SAG Award winning ensemble will head to Las Vegas.

They’ll be joined by Armisen, who will portray Langham, one half of a gay couple who’ll have fun with Mitch and Cam.

Meanwhile, comedian Patton Oswalt, who has appeared on Reno 911!, Two and a Half Men and The United States of Tara, will play a magician named Ducky Schindler who crosses paths with Phil.

The episode is expected to air this spring.

Alazraqui Replacing Piolin in “Free Birds” Voice Cast

Carlos Alazraqui will be flying high in the near future…

The 51-year-old Argentine American voice actor and impressionist has replaced Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo in the voice cast of the computer animated 3D comedy Free Birds from Relativity Media and Reel FX Creative Studios.

Carlos Alazraqui

Alazraqui, best known for voicing the Taco Bell chihuahua, will have a supporting role in the voice cast along with Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler and George Takei.

His credits include voicing characters in the recently released Disney animated film Planes, Toy Story 3 and Happy Feet Two, as well as an acting role on Reno 911.

Sotelo hosted the nationally syndicated Piolin por la Manana radio program until Univision let him go July 22 after an employee made allegations of sexually harassment. Sotelo has denied the allegations.