The video streaming service boom continues. In addition to the launches of both Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus later this November, 2020 will see TimeWarner going live with HBO Max. Now NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, has announced details of its upcoming streaming service, which will be called Peacock.
So what will Peacock bring to the table, and will it be able to stand out from the already crowded list of premium video streaming services? Here’s everything we know so far about Peacock.
What is Peacock?
As we mentioned, Peacock is the upcoming premium video streaming service that will be run by NBCUniversal. The Comcast-owned media company announced plans to launch a streaming service a number of months ago. It will be the home for classic and recent shows from NBCUniversal’s various broadcast and cable networks, along with films from Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animation, and Focus Features. In addition, Peacock will launch a number of exclusive new TV shows and movies for the service, which will include reboots of a number of well-known properties.
Peacock will be led by Matt Strauss, who previously was the head of Comcast’s Xfinity cable products.
Why did NBCUniversal call their streaming service Peacock?
Using the name Peacock as the label for the NBCUniversal streaming service is a nod to the early days of television. As the 1960s began, most TV shows were still broadcast in black and white. However, the NBC TV network was, at the time, owned by the electronics product maker RCA, and it wanted consumers to purchase its new color televisions. To encourage this, Forward.com reports that RCA commissioned a new NBC logo that would play in front of its shows, showing a stylized peacock that showed off all of the primary and secondary colors in its “feathers”.
The logo for the new Peacock streaming service still has the same colors featured in the old NBC logo as dots on the right side.
Availability and launch date
So far, NBCUniversal has yet to state the countries and markets that Peacock will be available. We do know when it’s coming. though. Peacock is currently scheduled to launch sometime in April 2020, according to NBCUniversal. We will update this post when a more specific launch date is revealed.
Platforms and devices
So far, NBCUniversal has yet to state which devices and platforms will support Peacock. We will update this post when more information is revealed.
So far, NBCUniversal has yet to reveal price plans for Peacock. However, it’s possible that the service will have both a free ad-supported tier and one with advertisements. We will update this post when more information is revealed.
What classic TV shows and movies will be shown on Peacock?
NBCUniversal claims that when Peacock launches in April 2020, it will be the home for over 15,000 hours of streaming video content. In terms of TV shows, it will be the new exclusive streaming home for the US version of The Office. Currently, all nine seasons of the workplace sitcom are available on Netflix, where it has become the most popular TV series on any streaming service, according to NBCUniversal. However, The Office won’t make its move to Peacock until January 2021.
The new service will also be the home for another highly popular classic workplace sitcom, Parks and Recreation. It’s currently available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, but all of its episodes will move exclusively to Peacock, starting in October 2020.
Other classic and more recent TV shows that will be streamed on the service will include:
- 30 Rock
- Bates Motel
- Battlestar Galactica
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Chrisley Knows Best
- Covert Affairs
- Downton Abbey
- Everyone Loves Raymond
- Friday Night Lights
- Keeping Up with the Kardashians
- King Of Queens
- Married…With Children
- Royal Pains
- Saturday Night Live
- The Real Housewives franchise
- Top Chef
- Will & Grace
The service will also be the streaming home to a ton of classic and recent feature films from Universal Pictures and Focus Features. They will include movies in the highly popular Bourne, Fast and Furious and Despicable Me franchises. Other movies that will be shown on the service will include:
- American Pie
- Knocked Up
- Meet the Parents
- Meet the Fockers
- A Beautiful Mind
- Back to the Future
- Brokeback Mountain
- Dallas Buyers Club
- Do the Right Thing
- Erin Brockovich
- E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
- Field of Dreams
- Mamma Mia!
- The Breakfast Club
In addition, Peacock will be the streaming home to over 3,000 hours of content from NBCUniversal’s Spanish language cable TV network, Telemundo, including shows like 100 Dias Para Volver, Betty in NY, El Barón and Preso No. 1.
What exclusive TV shows and movies will be streamed on Peacock?
NBCUniversal has announced plans for quite a few original TV shows that will make their debuts exclusively for Peacock. They include reboots of at least three classic TV shows:
- Battlestar Galactica – This would the second reboot for the 1978 space-based sci-fi TV show. Sam Esmail, who created the acclaimed TV series Mr. Robot, will be in charge of this new series.
- Saved By The Bell – The teen comedy series will get a sequel-style reboot, and will feature original cast members Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez.
- Punky Brewster – Here’s another sequel-style reboot, this one featuring Soleil Moon Frye reprising her role as a grown-up version of her orphan kid character from the original sitcom.
In addition, A.P. Bio, which ran for two seasons on NBC, will return for a third season exclusively on Peacock. Also, yet another (currently unnamed) spin-off of the Real Housewives reality show franchise will be streamed as an exclusive original for the service. Finally, Psych: The Movie 2, a second TV movie based on the classic comedy-mystery series, will be shown exclusively on the service.
Peacock will also be the home for a number of original TV shows as well:
- Dr. Death – A drama based on the popular true-crime podcast. It will star Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, and Christian Slater.
- Brave New World – A series based on the classic sci-fi novel from Aldous Huxley, and starring Alden Ehrenreich and Demi Moore.
- One of Us is Lying – A series based on the best-selling young-adult mystery novel.
- Angelyne – A limited series starring Emmy Rossum based on the true story of the woman featured on a long-standing billboard in Hollywood.
- Rutherford Falls – A comedy co-created by The Good Place creator Mike Schuur.
- Straight Talk – A comedy co-created by Rashida Jones and Jada Pinkett Smith.
- Armas de Mujer – A new Spanish-language dramedy series from the makers of La Reina del Sur.
- Who Wrote That – A docuseries centering on the cast and crew of the NBC variety series Saturday Night Live.
In addition, Peacock will also be the home for two upcoming untitled talk shows. One will be run by The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon, while the other will be a weekly talk show hosted by Amber Ruffin, a writer and performer for Late Night with Seth Myers.
Finally, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation will both develop original films and series that will be streamed exclusively via Peacock.
Could The Office get a reboot via Peacock?
The service will get the right to stream the back catalog of episodes from the US version of The Office in January 2021. However, the continued popularity of the show has caused many to speculate that Peacock could also be the home to a full-fledged reboot of the series with all-new episodes. In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Bonnie Hammer, the Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises for NBCUniversal, stated, “It is my hope and goal that we do an Office reboot”, and added, “It is my hope that we can figure what that great reboot would be. We are having conversations.”
If an Office reboot does debut on Peacock, it likely won’t involve its original star Steve Carell, who has stated on a number of occasions that he is not interested in revisiting his character of Dunder-Mifflin manager Michael Scott. Carell will next be seen in the first season of The Morning Show, one of the debut TV series on the upcoming Apple TV Plus streaming service that starts on November 1. After that, he’s set to star in yet another workplace comedy series, Space Force, which is scheduled to debut on Netflix in 2019.
Will Peacock be successful?
There’s no doubt that NBCUniversal has a lot of popular library content that it can use to fill out Peacock in the short term, and its plans for original content sound pretty nice on the surface, especially the new version of Battlestar Galactica. Having The Office as a streaming exclusive in January 2021 is also a feather in its cap. However, the simple fact is that there will be a ton of already established streaming services up and running by the time Peacock officially gets underway on April 2020, and it remains to be seen if consumers will have the money to pay for all of them, or if a few will have to go by the wayside. If that happens, Peacock could be one of those casualties.
Having said that, if NBCUniversal can indeed reboot The Office with a lot of its original cast and crew as an exclusive for Peacock, it could generate enough subscriptions for the service to keep the lights on.
Will you be signing up for Peacock when it launches in 2020, or will you wait until The Office debuts in 2021?