Fans of Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, AOL’s quirky (and Emmy-nominated) talk show, can now get a sneak peek at season two via the Roku OTT platform.
The new season officially kicks off June 18, with weekly episodes streaming on Aol.com and all platforms where AOL On is available, including Roku, Samsung, Sony TV & Bluray, Google TV LG, Boxee, and Xbox 360, among others. It’s also on iOS, Android, and Kindle on mobile.
But viewers can catch the first episode now on Roku players and Roku TV models.
Created by and starring Steve Buscemi (pictured with actor Debi Mazar), Park Bench features the actor and his famous friends sitting down to discuss the special people, places, and spirit that embody the true essence of New York City. Season two resumes with Buscemi returning to the benches of New York City with a new group of friends that include musician Elvis Costello, comedian John Oliver, actress Amber Tamblyn, actress Zosia Mamet and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, among others. The show is produced by Olive Productions and RadicalMedia.
The critically acclaimed show represents just a small portion of the new programming rolled out during the NewFronts earlier this year in New York as part of AOL’s “Content 365″ strategy, which is about creating content — including short, medium and long-form — on connected, over-the-top devices and screens of all sizes, every day.
Nate Hayden, AOL’s VP of originals and branded entertainment, told StreamDaily the push to create original content for various platforms will broaden in the coming year, noting more than 50% of the company’s total traffic is now coming from mobile. At the same time, AOL video views have more than doubled across over-the-top devices compared to last year at this time.
On Park Bench, specifically, Hayden said fans can expect much of the same energy and humor in season two that they enjoyed in its debut season.
“An Emmy nomination in season one, for me, means I am pretty much going to stick with the formula,” he said.
Earlier this year, AOL used a similar strategy to launch its first long-form series Connected. American users of Roku were able to watch the pilot episode one week ahead of its official premiere.
The series — a 20-episode, 30-minute adaptation of the Armoza Formats-produced Israeli show — follows six New Yorkers who document their lives using hand-held camcorders. It debuted on AOL On on March 31.
The sneak preview of Connected broke more than a million views in the first week, according to Hayden.
Aligning with Roku for the release of Park Bench “makes sense,” he said.
The first episode of Park Bench, season two, became available on Roku on June 4 for two weeks.