NBCU’s streaming service ‘Peacock’ announces originals slate, including a Battlestar Galactica reboot
NBCUniversal is sharing a few more details about its new streaming service, due to launch in April 2020, including the service’s name and content lineup. In a nod to the NBC logo, the service will be called “Peacock,” (yes, really), and will offer subscribers over 15,000 of content, including both film and TV, plus original content.
Notably, Peacock will be home to “The Office,” which Netflix will lose as a result of NBCU paying $500 million to pull the hit from Netflix when its deal ends in 2021. Peacock will also host other classic shows, like “Parks and Recreation,” plus news, sports, late-night TV, and Spanish-language programming, along with films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, and others.
In terms of its popular and classic TV lineup, Peacock will include: “30 Rock,” “Bates Motel,” “Battlestar Gallactica,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Cheers,” “Chrisley Knows Best,” “Covert Affairs,” “Downton Abbey,” “Everyone Loves Raymond,” “Frasier,” “Friday Night Lights,” “House,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “King Of Queens,” “Married…With Children,” “Monk,” “Parenthood,” “Psych,” “Royal Pains,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Superstore,” “The Real Housewives,” “Top Chef,” and “Will & Grace.”
On the film side, the service promises “American Pie,” “Bridesmaids,” “Knocked Up,” “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Back to the Future,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Casino,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Erin Brockovich,” “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Field of Dreams,” “Jaws,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Shrek,” and “The Breakfast Club.” It will also feature films from the franchises: “Bourne,” “Despicable Me,” and “Fast & Furious.”
What’s more interesting (or concerning, if you’re a “Battlestar Galactica” fan) are Peacock’s plans for original content. This includes a reboot of the sci-fi classic (nooo, don’t do it!), as well as reboots of “Saved by the Bell,” and “Punky Brewster.”
The company this morning announced the following originals:
- “Dr. Death,” based on the true-crime podcast starring Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, and Christian Slater
- A “Battlestar Galactica” reboot from Golden Globe winner and Emmy-nominated “Mr. Robot” and “Homecoming” EP Sam Esmail
- “Brave New World,” based on the dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley and starring Alden Ehrenreich (“Solo: A Star Wars Story”) and Demi Moore
- “Angelyne,” a limited series from Emmy Rossum
- “One of Us Is Lying,” based on the New York Times best-selling young adult mystery-thriller.
- “Rutherford Falls,” co-created by Emmy and Peabody Award-winner Mike Schur, Ed Helms, and Sierra Teller Ornelas, and starring Ed Helms
- “Straight Talk,”from Emmy Award nominee Rashida Jones and NAACP Image Award winner Jada Pinkett Smith;
- “Saved By the Bell” reboot from Emmy Award winner Tracey Wigfield (“30 Rock”), featuring original cast members including Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez
- “Punky Brewster,” starring Soleil Moon Frye as a grown-up version of her former character;
- A new season of “A.P.Bio,” starring Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswalt
- The second movie spinoff from the long-running series “Psych.”
- A new “Saturday Night Live” docuseries, “Who Wrote That,” from creator Lorne Michaels, exploring the famous personalities in front of and behind the camera
- An original talk show series from Jimmy Fallon, in collaboration with Matador Content and Universal Television Alternative Studio
- A weekly late-night show starring Amber Ruffin and executive produced by Seth Meyers
- Another spinoff of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” franchise.
Much was already known about NBCU’s streaming service, ahead of today. The company had already discussed its vision and the launch time frame during Comcast’s second-quarter earnings call. At the time, NBCU noted the serivce’s April 2020 arrival, as well as its monetization strategy.
The company said then that the service would be ad-supported with a paid, ad-free option. It has not yet announced its pricing or distribution plans, however.
The service is launching at a time when competition among streamers is heating up, as more companies enter the fray to battle with Netflix. In addition to the big three — Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu — Disney+ is poised to launch Nov. 12, and Apple just announced Apple TV+ would arrive Nov 1. HBO Max is also right around the corner, in spring 2020.
Surprisingly, it’s the classic shows that the media giants are fighting over, in massive, multi-billion dollar deals.
NBCU snagged “The Office,” Netflix’s most-watched series, for $500 million. WarnerMedia (HBO Max) grabbed “Friends” from Netflix for $425 million. Netflix got back in the game yesterday, with a $500 million-plus deal for “Seinfeld” that includes global streaming rights. And just this morning, WarnerMedia broke records with a multi-billion dollar streaming deal for “Big Bang Theory,” for HBO Max.
Peacock, its terrible name notwithstanding, has a shot at grabbing at least some of the market, given its decent back catalog, which includes hits like “The Office” and “Parks and Rec,” and its access to a larger film library. It also snagged some high-caliber Hollywood names for its originals.
The service will be heavily promoted during the Summer Olympics, airing on NBC.
“The name Peacock pays homage to the quality content that audiences have come to expect from NBCUniversal – whether it’s culture-defining dramas from innovative creators like Sam Esmail, laugh-out-loud comedies from legends like Lorne Michaels and Mike Schur, blockbusters from Universal Pictures, or buzzy unscripted programming from the people who do it best at Bravo and E!,” said Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, in a statement about today’s news. “Peacock will be the go-to place for both the timely and timeless – from can’t-miss Olympic moments and the 2020 election, to classic fan favorites like ‘The Office’.”