In a move that certainly will help to ensure that younger generations learn to appreciate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley Enterprises has announced that it is launching a new ad-supported Elvis Presley Channel in early 2022.
The announcement includes Pluto, Roku and Tubi, so it’s likely that the programming will stream as part of those services’ excellent (and free) selection of individual cable-style channels. Samsung, Hulu and Amazon also are mentioned, so there is likely to be a video-on-demand option as well.
EPE has partnered with Cinedigm, the distributor behind a soothing channel from Air Force veteran Bob Ross. Ross’ “The Joy of Painting” show has found new life as it streams to 6 million monthly viewers across 20 platforms, including Samsung TVs, Roku devices, Peacock, Pluto TV and Tubi. Now, they’re aiming to do the same for Elvis.
Elvis fans who don't want to wait for the new channel can check out Turner Classic Movies, where Presley is the July 2021 Star of the Month. TCM will show 21 of his 31 narrative films plus the 1981 documentary "This Is Elvis." The movies start every Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. You can find out exactly what's playing via TCM's Monthly Schedule.
Next year should be a big year for Presley fans. Director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge!”) will release a new biopic of the singer starring Austin Butler (Tex Watson in “Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood”) as Elvis and Tom Hanks (“Greyhound”) as Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker, who was not a real military colonel. The channel plans to be up and running well in advance of the movie’s release.
There’s no word if the channel will get access to the King’s extensive Hollywood movie catalog, but they’re promising some exclusive footage from the Graceland archives and access to classic specials and documentaries like “Singer Presents…Elvis (the ’68 Comeback Special),” “Elvis Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite” and “Elvis by the Presleys.”
The channel also plans to highlight other musicians from Presley’s generation in the Memphis scene, so they’re promising programming featuring fellow Sun Records artists such as Roy Orbison and Air Force veteran Johnny Cash.
Of course, the big question here is why this obvious move took so long. Still, it’s nice to know Elvis will be joining classics such as Bob Ross, “Cops,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Love Boat,” “Dark Shadows,” “Happy Days,” “The Price Is Right” and “Baywatch” with his own 24/7 channel.
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