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Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, will strut into homes in April 2020

NBCUniversal’s new streaming service now has a name, a specific launch time frame, and some of the network’s biggest shows on tap when it starts operations. It will simply be known as “Peacock” — a nod to the broadcaster’s iconic logo — and will begin streaming in April 2020, according to a press release. Among the headlining shows for the service will be Parks and Recreation and The Office, which will become Peacock exclusives, confirming earlier reports that NBCUniversal planned to pull The Office from Netflix, where it has enjoyed huge success. It’s not clear how or when Parks and Recreation will become a Peacock exclusive, as previous reports suggested that NBCUniversal agreed to keep the show on Hulu until 2024 following Disney’s majority takeover of that service.

Other NBC comedy favorites like 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Saturday Night Live, Will & Grace, The King of Queens, and Married … With Children will be part of the service’s offering, though NBC hasn’t indicated that they will be exclusives. Peacock is planning some new and original content as well. On the comedy side of the equation, new shows from Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Mike Schur, Ed Helms, Jada Pinkett Smith, Rashida Jones, and Tracey Wigfield are being developed.

Meanwhile, Peacock hopes to attract an audience from across the broadcast and streaming worlds with new original dramas including a Battlestar Galactica reboot from Sam Esmail; Dr. Death, starring Alec Baldwin, Jamie Dornan, and Christian Slater; Brave New World with Demi Moore; and Armas de Mujer, which is being produced by the same team as Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur. NBCUniversal has also struck deals with Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, and Illumination to provide original movies for Peacock.

Peacock will apparently more closely resemble traditional broadcasting than many other streaming services, with plans to offer “news, sports, late-night and reality” on top of its library of shows.

Viewers will also be able to dig into a variety of movie comedies with titles such as American Pie, Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Meet the Parents, and Meet the Fockers, plus big blockbusters like Back to the Future, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Field of Dreams, Jaws, Shrek, and The Breakfast Club.

In all, there are expected to be more than 15,000 hours of content on Peacock at launch. The service will be both advertisement and subscription-supported, but there’s still no word on whether or not there will be a completely free tier, or how much NBCUniversal plans to charge for the subscriptions.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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