Because who doesn’t need more Bob Ross right now?
In another posthumous brand extension for TV’s most famous landscape-painting instructor, the Bob Ross Channel — stocked with about 380 episodes of his iconic show “The Joy of Painting” — launches Thursday, April 16, on Samsung connected TVs before becoming more broadly available next month.
The ad-supported streaming channel is operated by Cinedigm, which secured exclusive rights for the art channel with Bob Ross Inc., the company that manages the late host’s intellectual property. The Bob Ross Channel will present “Joy of Painting” episodes in a linear, TV-like fashion.
The Bob Ross Channel is initially streaming on Samsung TV Plus, the free video service that includes access to over 100 free channels. It’s scheduled to come to Roku May 18, 2020, and will be available on other linear, ad-supported VOD and subscription-video platforms in the coming months, according to Cinedigm.
Ross died in 1995 after hosting 31 seasons of “The Joy of Painting” on PBS stations from 1983-1994. Twenty-five years later, the frizzy-haired TV personality remains a beloved kitschy pop-culture celebrity: Bob Ross has more than 5.5 million social media followers and his official YouTube channel has generated over 330 million views to date.
He’s been spoofed by “Deadpool,” “Family Guy” and YouTube’s Epic Rap Battles of History. With his soothing voice, Ross has been called “the father of ASMR videos” and he’s been featured in meditation app Calm.
Distributed by APT Worldwide, Ross’ TV programs are also available in countries worldwide. In 2015, Twitch hosted a nine-day “Joy of Painting” marathon that drew 5.6 million viewers and prompted the Amazon-owned streaming platform to host follow-on airing of the show.
Cinedigm, as part of its agreement with Bob Ross Inc., also will produce and distribute special messages of support for public television on the channel, as well as spots highlighting official Bob Ross painting products and Bob Ross Certified Instructors.