“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” has just received an extraordinary reprieve.
It’s only a partial one, though. The show remains cancelled, but will have a holiday movie this year on the Roku Channel … which will also show the 25 previous episodes this fall.
“Playlist” (shown here) tells of a young woman in a San Francisco tech company, who suddenly has a strange gift: She can hear people’s thoughts, expressed through pop songs.
The result – overflowing with bright colors and zestful music – drew mixed reactions. Ratings were modest, fans were intense, many critics — including me — were enthusiastic. The Television Critics Association nominated the first year for best new show and the second for best comedy; there were six Emmy nominations (winning for choreography), plus a Golden Globe nomination for star Jane Levy.
When NBC cancelled the show in May, fans protested. That brought rumors that “Playlist” would be rescued by one of the streamers: Recently, Paramount Plus saved “Evil” and “SEAL Team” and Peacock saved “A.P. Bio”; Netflix has saved several shows, including the current “Lucifer.”
But “Playlist” kept being passed over, until Roku stepped in.
Roku is a streaming network, but for most things (including “Playlist”), it has commercials instead of a pay-extra subscription. Its biggest plunge was in buying shows made (in 10-minute-segments) by the short-lived Quibi service. That includes three that drew Emmy nominations in short-form categories – “Reno 911,” “Mapleworth Murders” and Kevin Hart’s “Die Hart” – plus many others, including Liam Hemsworth’s “Most Dangerous Game.”
Now it adds its first movie. “Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas” will start filming next month.