NBCUniversal went all out when it launched its Peacock streaming service in mid-2020. One thing it did was to get the exclusive US streaming rights to a number of popular TV series. As a result, there are a lot of good Peacock TV shows to stream and binge-watch on the service. We decided to narrow the number down to our top 10 best Peacock shows.
Read more: Peacock – Everything you need to know
As you can see, there’s a great mix of shows, from classic TV mysteries to more recent sitcoms and dramas. We limited our list to the best scripted Peacock TV shows. We didn’t include any of the reality, news, sports, or talk shows on the service. We also didn’t include any of the programming that was recently added from the WWE pro wrestling organization. Since Peacock does include a free (with ads) subscription tier, we will note on each show listing if they are available for free, and which ones are available with a paid Peacock Premium subscription ($4.99 a month with ads, $9.9 a month without ads).
With all that said, here are some of the best Peacock shows. You can sign up for the service at the link below:
Best Peacock shows
Editor’s note: This list will be updated as more Peacock TV shows are added to the service.
The Office (US)
First two seasons for free – Seasons 3-9 on Peacock Premium
The UK version of the Office may have come first, but this workplace sitcom truly became a worldwide phenomenon when the US version was launched. Dunder Mifflin Paper Company became one of the most famous fictional businesses in history, as we looked in on its employees in its main location in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The show uses the idea of a documentary crew that is supposedly working on a film featuring these employees, as they frequently talk directly to the camera.
The nine seasons of The Office showed the highs and lows of both the people and the company, frequently in hilarious situations. We saw the evolution of branch manager Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, from an obnoxious and sometimes offensive boss to a truly loving figure of authority. We saw the romance blossom between receptionist Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and paper salesman Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). We also saw all of the rest of the show’s supporting players in their element, from assistant to the regional manager Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and his many, many eccentricities, to the stuffy accountant Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey), to the lovable and somewhat socially inept Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner), Indeed, there are so many regular and recurring characters on this show that are memorable that we couldn’t list them all here. Just watch the show and check it for yourself. It’s definitely one of the best Peacock TV shows.
Peacock Premium members can also watch the third season of the Office with extended scenes (Superfan episodes).
Parks and Recreation
First two seasons for free – Seasons 3-7 on Peacock Premium
Originally developed as a spin-off for The Office, Parks and Recreation ended up being its own show, with no direct connection to the earlier series. Both shows are workplace comedies, and both use the idea of a documentary crew that is constantly filming the characters. However, Parks and Recreation is just a bit lighter in tone.
As opposed to the stark offices of Dunder Mifflin, the offices of the Parks and Recreation department of Pawnee, Indiana feel warmer and inviting. The characters are more approachable as well, led by deputy director Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). While you may laugh at the characters of The Office, you may not want to meet them in real life. In contrast, you would definitely want to be friends with many of the characters of Parks and Recreation.
Battlestar Galactica (2004)
All seasons available for free on Peacock
Almost no one thought that rebooting a one-season 1970s sci-fi series, and a blatant rip-off of Star Wars, would be a good idea. Ronald D. Moore, who previously wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation, thought otherwise. His reimagining of this series is clearly based on a post-9/11 world, where the human race is almost totally wiped out by the Cylons, a robotic race that humans actually created themselves. The last remaining humans try to escape in a rag-tag fleet of ships, but the Cylons are in pursuit. Even worse, there are some Cylons that look human, and are hiding in the fleet.
The show is dark and bleek at times, but it also shows the reliance of the human race. It also shows that villains like the Cylons have shades of grey as well. Oh, and it has some of the best sci-fi space battles ever shown on film, period. This is one of the best Peacock shows, and certainly one of the most creative pieces of science fiction around. You can also watch the original mini-series that served as the basis for the reboot, and a stand-alone movie, The Plan.
Law and Order: SUV
First two seasons for free – Seasons 3-22 on Peacock Premium
There are tons of procedural TV shows to watch, but this may be the best of the bunch. It’s certainly the longest running at 22 seasons and counting. This spin-off of the original Law and Order concentrates on solving sex crimes, and many of these shows were ripped from current news events around the time they were first broadcast. It might be hard to watch at times, but thankfully the officers and D.A.s of the Special Victims Unit are interesting to watch, lead as always by Mariska Hargitay’s performances as officer Olivia Benson.
First episode for free – all other episodes on Peacock Premium
Kevin Costner made a bold move in deciding to become the lead actor in a TV series after a decades-long career as one of the biggest movie stars. He hit a home run with this melodrama set in the wilds of Wyoming. He plays John Dutton, the head of a massive cattle ranch that’s constantly under attack from politicians, land developers, and others. His family members are also sometimes at odds with him and each other. It’s a fun adult soap opera, with some great scenery. It’s also definitely not for the kids. It’s also one of the best Peacock TV shows.
All seasons available for free on Peacock
The 1970s was a true wasteland in terms of quality TV dramas. There were tons of cop shows, medical series, and really bad sci-fi shows. One of the few TV dramas that’s still highly entertaining to watch today is Columbo. That’s largely due to Peter Falk’s performance as the title character. He’s a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department, who frequently has to solve murders linked to the rich and famous. This show is also notable for its formula of showing us the killer, and how he or she committed the crime, before Columbo shows up. It’s great fun when we watch the apparently clumsy and socially backward detective questioning the suspects with his trademark “Oh, just one more thing . . .” line. As it always turns out, Columbo is in fact highly intelligent and intuitive, and always gets his murderer. It’s without a doubt one of the best Peacock shows.
Peacock not only has the older 1970s episodes of Columbo to stream, but also the more recent seasons from the late 1980s to 2003. You can also watch the original 1968 movie, Prescription Murder, which served as a pilot for the series.
All seasons available for free on Peacock
Downton Abbey is, like Yellowstone, a melodrama about a very rich family that lives in a great big house in the country. However, Downton Abbey is set in the early 20th century in the UK, as we see the country’s class system in full swing. While the “upstairs” family live in fancy clothes and deal with many different problems, the “downstairs” staff also have their own lives and issues as well. It’s a bit idolized, but it’s also fun to watch, and one of the best Peacock TV shows.
First two seasons for free – Seasons 3 on Peacock Premium
Based on a series of novels by Stephen King, this dark mystery series centers on a retired cop who is haunted by an incident earlier in his career. A person driving a Mercedes drove into a crowd, and killed 16 people. The cop soons finds himself dealing with another crazy killer, who claims to be the one who drove that car. This show was first shown on the DirecTV exclusive Audience channel, which meant almost no one watched it originally. Thankfully, you can watch this mystery thriller in full as one of the best Peacock shows.
Brooklyn Nine Nine
All seasons on Peacock Premium
There have certainly been sitcoms centered on the police in the past. However, none of them are quite as funny as this long running show. While we have a talented ensemble cast here, Andy Samberg does an excellent job as the show’s nominal lead, a great detective who also has a healthy sense of humor. That sometimes puts him into conflict with his commanding officer, played by Andre Braugher. You can watch all seven seasons now, and the eighth and final season will stream weekly on Peacock after its episodes air on NBC.
Saved by the Bell (2020)
First three episodes free – remaining 7 episodes on Peacock Premium
Peacock has a small number of exclusive series so far (many of them are imports from the UK, Australia, and Canada). However, the best original series so far may be, believe it or not, this reboot of the classic sitcom made for kids. Yes, the show still takes place at the fictional Bayside High School, but the series is much more adult than its predecessor. It deals with lots of real and current teenage issues, among them the quality of education they receive. It also happens to be funny as we see the current crop of students interact with many of the original series’ cast members.
Thanks for checking out our list. These are just some of the best Peacock TV shows, and we will add more to this list over the coming months.