Roku Cancels Will Smith’s Comedy Series ‘This Joka’ After 1 Season

Comedy News

This Joka, a stand-up comedy series exec produced by Will Smith, will not be returning for a second season on Roku.

The streaming service launched the series, which came via its acquisition of short-form service Quibi, in March.

The series features a raft of stand-ups including Punkie Johnson and Chris Estrada.

We hear that the decision had nothing to do with the Oscars incident, where Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage, but a somewhat unusual issue with timing.

Roku is believed to never really have had the option to renew the series, which is produced by Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Topgolf Entertainment Group. The option to renew lapsed before Roku launched the show, and certainly before the streamer had the chance to analyze its viewing data, meaning that it was unlikely to return for a second season on the platform.

The show featured a diverse lineup of up-and-coming, established, and legendary comedians exploring the nature of comedy and its unique ability to bring people together. Shot on location at Topgolf and other popular venues across Las Vegas, the series showcased stand-up sets, as well as one-on-one conversations between Smith and the comedians, intimate interviews, and docu-style moments backstage and around the city.

It featured Baron Vaughn, Megan Gailey, Punkie Johnson, Sean Patton, Rosebud Baker, Shane Torres, Clayton English, Christi Chiello, Vanessa Gonzalez, Martin Urbano, Sam Tallent, David Gborie, Jackie Fabulous, Chris Estraded, Rell Battle, and Daphnique Springs, with special appearances by George Wallace, Demi Adejuyigbe and Shawn Wasabi.

“This isn’t a competition, this is an opportunity to laugh,” Smith said in the trailer.

Smith executive produced along with Miguel Melendez, Terence Carter, Brad Haugen, Lukas Kaiser, Erik Anderson, Chad Nelson, and YuChiang Cheng. Lance Bangs directed.

Separately, we understand that Netflix has no plans to air Smith’s other stand-up comedy project. In June 2021, the streamer revealed that Smith would host his first comedy variety show. He was exec producing with Westbrook Studios producing.

We hear that the special was never filmed, and for obvious reasons, there’s no plans to move forward with it at the streamer.

Source: Deadline

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