NBCUniversal’s Peacock is a streaming platform designed to rival Netflix, Hulu, and the growing list of prominent services looking to capitalize on the booming streaming industry. The service includes classic TV series and movies, originals, and live content across all genres, including sporting events, talk shows, reality TV, and more.
What are the best shows available on Peacock right now? Here’s a selection of what you can watch now, including some of the latest originals, while you wait for the onslaught of reboots and revivals NBCUniversal has planned for the year ahead.
This highly-rated crime drama is based on the Stephen King novel trilogy and the character of Bill Hodges. (The character of Holly Gibney from these same books inspired the HBO miniseries The Outsider.) Hodges, a retired detective, remains haunted by the one case he could never solve: A serial killer known as Mr. Mercedes murdered 16 people after driving a stolen car (a Mercedes, of course) through a line at a local job fair. While tormented by this unsolved case, Hodges also becomes further tortured by a young and fiercely smart psychopath named Brady Hartsfield. Then, the cat-and-mouse game begins. A fourth season hasn’t been confirmed yet since the network Audience on which the show aired has been discontinued. But the series hasn’t officially been cancelled, either.
Created by: David E. Kelley (based on Stephen King novel trilogy)
Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Harry Treadway, Kelly Lynch, Jharrel Jerome, Scott Lawrence, Robert Stanton, Breeda Wool, Justine Lupe, Mary-Louise Parker, Holland Taylor, Jack Huston, Maximiliano Hernandez, Tessa Ferrer, Rarmian Newton, Gabriel Ebert
Number of seasons: 3
Brave New World
A Peacock original, this dystopian sci-fi drama is the latest in a number of TV and movie interpretations of the Aldous Huxley novel from 1932. Set in the future, a purported utopian society has gotten rid of everything from monogamy to privacy, money, family, and history. But a violent rebellion has begun, threatening the seemingly harmonious lifestyle. The show stars Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage and Jessica Brown Findlay as Lenina Crowne, and Demi Moore also appears in a recurring role. Initial reviews are polarizing, and while some early critics aren’t exactly enamored with the plot, aesthetics and production value have been lauded for being “gorgeous” and “expensive.”
Created by: David Wiener
Cast: Jessica Brown Findlay, Harry Lloyd, Alden Ehrenreich, Hannah John-Kamen, Joseph Morgan
Number of seasons: 1
Originally airing on BBC One in 2019, this British mystery crime drama is set in present-day London where detective inspector Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) has arrested a U.K. Special Forces corporal named Shaun (Callum Turner) for an alleged kidnapping and murder. Mysteriously, while CCTV footage makes it impossible to dispute the charges against him, he is adamant that it’s all a conspiracy and he didn’t do it. Somewhere amidst the drama lies the truth. There are just six episodes in the first season of this series that has been credited with “revitalizing…a tired genre.”
Created by: Ben Chanan
Cast: Holliday Grainger, Callum Turner, Ben Miles, Laura Haddock, Barry Ward, Ralph Ineson
Number of seasons: 1
The curious and mischievous little monkey has been a part of childhoods since 1941, and now the character will reappear on-screen to get up to more antics. The newer season, which debuted in 2018 on Family Jr. in Canada, is aimed at preschool-aged children and amps up the focus on education. While George is still his playful, funny, and troublemaking primate self, the series integrates concepts of STEM learning to help teach kids valuable skills and knowledge at a young age. As one would expect from this cheeky monkey, it will keep kids heartily giggling, too.
Created by: Margret Rey, H.A. Rey, Alan J. Shalleck (books), Joe Fallon (series)
Cast: Frank Welker, Jeff Bennett (narrated by William H. Macy, Rina Romano)
Number of seasons: 13
Cleopatra in Space
As the first DreamWorks Animation series to stream somewhere other than Netflix or Amazon Video at launch, this animated series is based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Mike Maihack. Geared toward kids ages 7 to 11, it tells the story of Cleopatra during her teenage years as she deals with the trials and tribulations of high school. Cleopatra travels through time and visits an Egyptian-themed planet ruled by talking cats, then enrolls in a special school to train for how to take down bad guys, and she eventually finds her way back home.
Created by: Mike Maihack (graphic novels)
Cast: Lilimar Hernandez, Katie Crown, Jorge Diaz, Sendhil Ramamurthy
Number of seasons: 1
Delve into the world of racing as legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Matthew Dilner take you through the great racing cathedrals of the past. The pair talk about speedways that have been abandoned and overtaken by nature, and they welcome various racing legends as guests in every episode. Earnhardt Jr. is also the creator of the series, which will undoubtedly be a hit among NASCAR fans.
Created by: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Cast: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matthew Dillner
Number of seasons: 1
Relive all seven hilarious seasons of this sitcom, created by Tina Fey and starring the funny woman along with Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski, and Tracy Morgan. The series is loosely based on Fey’s real-life experiences as head writer on Saturday Night Live. It pulls back the curtain to show behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy show called 30 Rock while also poking fun at the inner workings and unique personalities involved with such a fast-paced, quirky show. The series earned tons of awards and accolades throughout its run and is often included on best sitcoms lists.
Created by: Tina Fey
Cast: Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Keith Powell, Lonny Ross, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Maulik Pancholy, John Lutz
Number of seasons: 7
This comedy-drama, loosely based on the 1989 Ron Howard film and the second TV adaptation of the concept, aired for six seasons from 2010 to 2015. It followed the lives of three generations of the Braverman family, including the patriarch, matriarch, and their four children and their respective families. This was essentially the early ’10s version of This Is Us.
Created by: Jason Katims (based on the Ron Howard film)
Cast: Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen, Sam Jaeger, Savannah Paige Rae, Sarah Ramos, Max Burkholder, Joy Bryant, Miles Heizer, Mae Whitman, Bonnie Bedelia, Craig T. Nelson, Tyree Brown, Xolo Mariduena
Number of seasons: 6
Friday Night Lights
Airing for five seasons from 2006 to 2011, this sports drama starring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, inspired by the 1990 nonfiction book by H.G. Bissinger and the 2004 film adaptation, was lauded for its realistic representation of football culture and small-town Middle America. It was popular among critics and viewers alike, who called it everything from heartfelt and raw to fresh and absorbing.
Created by: Peter Berg
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Gaius Charles, Zach Gilford, Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki, Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemons, Scott Porter, Aimee Teegarden, Michael B. Jordan, Jurnee Smollett, Matt Lauria, Madison Burge, Grey Damon
Number of seasons: 5
Saturday Night Live
If you’ve been itching to check out your favorite sketches and skits from past episodes of this long-running sketch comedy series, whether from the Gilda Radner, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, or Adam Sandler eras, you can catch every last one through this service. Peacock will offer episodes from all 45 seasons of the show, making it easy to find and rewatch your favorite segments over and over again. More cowbell, anyone?
Created by: Lorne Michaels
Number of seasons: 45
Cheers is widely considered to be one of the best sitcoms ever to air on television. You can relive this ’80s and ’90s classic and all of its 11 seasons on the new streaming service. Every episode took place in the bar where everyone knows your name and followed the interactions of those who worked at the bar and those who patronized it. This series has gone down in the history books, and while some references are seriously dated, the stories and relationships among the characters are timeless.
Created by: Glen Charles, Les Charles, James Burrows
Cast: Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Nicholas Colasanto, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley, Bebe Neuwirth
Number of seasons: 11
Just a day after Fox abruptly decided to cancel this sitcom after five seasons, NBC swept in and saved the single-camera comedy for a sixth season. In late 2019, the show was renewed for season eight. The show stars former Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, an immature NYPD detective in the fictional 99th Precinct who butts heads with his new and very serious captain. But it’s the entire talented cast and the clever writing that makes this series one worth adding to your watch list.
Created by: Dan Goor, Michael Schur
Cast: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller
Number of seasons: 7
This 2002 military sci-fi series was a reimagining of the 1978 series of the same name about humans who live in a distant star system and are at war with an android race called the Cylons — that they, ironically, created. After a massive attack, only 50,000 of billions of people in the human race survive, thanks to civilian ships, and they must now try and escape to a colony known as Earth. It aired for four seasons back in 2004, and Peacock is also poised to offer a reboot of this series, headed by Mr. Robot‘s Sam Esmail, that will address the modern climate.
Created by: Ronald D. Moore (based on the 1978 series by Glen A. Larson)
Cast: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Michael Hogan, Aaron Douglas, Tahmoh Penikett, Paul Campbell, Nicki Clyne, Michael Trucco, Alessandro Juliani, Kandyse McClure
Number of seasons: 4
Relive this British historical drama in its entirety, including all six seasons (no word on the movie). Set in the early 20th century in the fictional Yorkshire country estate, the series, which first aired in the U.S. on PBS, followed the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. While fictional, the series covers real-life events and how they impact the British social hierarchy, from the sinking of the Titanic to the Spanish influenza pandemic. The series was well received and praised, earning tons of Emmy nominations and wins.
Created by: Julian Fellowes
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Maggie Smith, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Phyllis Logan, Thomas Howes, Rob James-Collier, Rose Leslie, Elizabeth McGovern, and others
Number of seasons: 6
Parks and Recreation
Park and Recreation is one of those hilarious series that, if you haven’t watched yet, you should — and those who already watched might very well be game for watching it all over again. Following the story of employees in the Parks Department of a fictional town called Pawnee, Indiana, the show aired for seven seasons. At the center of the plot were the small-town politics and red tape that made accomplishing things so difficult, though fans were able to get emotionally invested in every character.
Created by: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Paul Schneider, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Billy Eichner
Number of seasons: 7
The tune Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs, sung by Kelsey Grammer, is instantly recognizable as the theme to this series, one of the most successful spin-offs ever to grace the small screen. Borne from Cheers, Frasier delved deeper into the story of one of the bar’s frequent patrons: Frasier Crane (Grammer), a successful psychiatrist and radio advice show host. Alongside Frasier, the series introduced a host of memorable characters, including his elderly father, Martin (John Mahoney); Martin’s caregiver, Daphne (Jane Leeves); Frasier’s conservative and uptight brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce); and Frasier’s producer, Roz (Peri Gilpin). Running for 11 seasons, it isn’t only one of the most successful spin-offs in television history and is also widely considered to be one of the best sitcoms ever.
Created by: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee
Cast: Kely Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney
Number of seasons: 11
The Carol Burnett Show
A trailblazer in the world of variety and sketch comedy, Burnett is one of the biggest comedic talents of the past few generations. Relive her original CBS series, which aired for 11 seasons in the ’70s and won 25 Primetime Emmy Awards. It’s often found on aggregated lists of the best television series of all time. Starring other huge names in comedy through its run, the show paved the way for others to create memorable parodies and skits that can make viewers belly-laugh. Among its best were As the Stomach Turns (a parody of soap opera As The World Turns) and Kitchen Commercials.
Created by: Carol Burnett
Cast: Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, Tim Conway, Dick Van Dyke
Number of seasons: 11
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
While The Tonight Show continues its successful run as the most popular late-night talk show, nothing beats Johnny Carson’s version of the series, which he hosted for 30 years from 1962 to 1992. Harken back to the old days by watching his interviews with celebrities of all kinds, marveling at his ever-quick wit and impeccable comedic timing. Recall how some of the biggest names in comedy performed sets on the show when they were just up-and-comers. And enjoy Carson’s casual conversational approach and entertainment segments that late-night talk show hosts continue to try and emulate today.
Created by: Steve Allen, William O. Harbach, Dwight Hemion, Sylvester L. Weaver, Jr.
Cast: Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon
Number of seasons: 30
The series centers around a bunch of wealthy, arrogant, and successful corporate lawyers in New York running a firm and winning cases by doing whatever necessary to make their clients happy. When they happen upon a brilliant, young, aspiring lawyer named Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), the firm’s top lawyer, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), hires him on the spot. Except there’s one small but meaningful issue: Mike never graduated from Harvard and doesn’t actually have a degree or license to practice law. While the series first focuses on Mike and Harvey becoming the perfect team while also trying to hide the truth, it evolves into much more through its nine seasons. Keep an eye out for Duchess Meghan Markle, who had a starring role in the first eight seasons.
Created by: Aaron Korsh
Cast: Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Rick Hoffman, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres, Amanda Schull, Dule Hill, Katherine Heigl
Number of seasons: 9
One of the first, if not the first, medical dramas centered around an eccentric doctor, the concept has been played out in many ways since House graced our TV screens back in 2004. But still, no one has quite managed to top Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), a surly but brilliant doctor who can’t stand the typical conventions of his job. Not to mention that he’s addicted to painkillers, which gives him a slight edge. But despite his quirks, Dr. House always manages to figure out what is going on with even the most mysterious and puzzling illnesses, often right in the nick of time. While the episodes get weird and can be repetitive and formulaic through the eight seasons, the wonderful performances by Laurie and other supporting cast members make it totally entertaining the whole way through.
Created by: David Shore
Cast: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Kal Penn, Olivia Wilde, Amber Tamblyn, Odette Annable, Charlyne Yi
Number of seasons: 8
Before starring as Midge Maisel’s quirky father in Amazon Prime Video series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tony Shalhoub played another character with quirks in this comedy-drama. While it’s technically a police procedural, the series also takes a comedic tone at times. Adrian Monk (Shalhoub) is a detective who suffers a nervous breakdown following the suspicious death of his wife that also causes his symptoms relating to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to worsen. But he manages to return to work as a private detective, solving every case that comes across his desk. The series won eight Emmy Awards and broke viewership records.
Created by: Andy Breckman
Cast: Tony Shalhoub, Bitty Schram, Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine, Traylor Howard
Number of seasons: 8
Two and a Half Men
When Charlie Sheen left this popular hit comedy show, fans thought all was lost. However, Ashton Kutcher took over Sheen’s role to continue the long-running series after the first eight seasons captivated audiences. Sheen starred as Charlie Harper, a womanizing bachelor living in a beach house and earning money off writing jingles for commercials.
His life, however, was upended when his about-to-be-divorced younger brother, Alan (Jon Cryer), showed up unexpectedly with his 10-year-old son, Jake (Angus T. Jones), looking for a place to crash. And, well, he never left. The chemistry among the three leads was unmatched, and while the storyline to integrate Kutcher’s character was odd, the series still captured viewers for another four seasons.
Created by: Chuck Lorre, Lee Aronsohn
Cast: Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Marin Hinkle, Melanie Lynskey, Holland Taylor, Conchata Ferrell, Jennifer Taylor, April Bowlby, Ashton Kutcher, Amber Tamblyn, Edan Alexander
Number of seasons: 12
This long-running reality competition series from Bravo has been pitting chefs against one another in intense cooking competitions since the early ’00s. An ever-changing panel of celebrity judges and notable chefs taste their culinary masterpieces, provide feedback week after week, and, eventually, crown a winner. In addition to this original series, check out one of many spin-offs: Top Chef Masters.
Created by: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz (executive producers)
Cast: Katie Lee, Padma Lahshmi (hosts), various judges, various contestants
Number of seasons: 17
While NBC canceled this series after two seasons, Peacock picked it up for a third. It’s a good thing, too, seeing as the series has actually received very good reviews and has been praised for its “genuine laughs.” Jack Carson Griffin has lost out on his dream job and, making things infinitely worse, it was to his arch-rival, of all people. Left with no other choice but to pack up and leave Harvard to return to Ohio and work as an advanced placement biology teacher (talk about a demotion!), he decides to use his honor roll students to help him get back at his prime enemy.
Created by: Mike O’Brien
Cast: Glenn Howerton, Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn, Jean Villepique, Tom Bennett, Patton Oswalt, Paula Pell
Number of seasons: 2
American Ninja Warrior
A thrilling watch for the entire family, ridiculously fit athletes from all across America train all year long to be able to conquer some of the most difficult, wild, and exciting obstacle courses that test their strength, determination, focus, and skill. Based on the Japanese TV series Sasuke, Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila provide exciting play-by-plays as the competitors try to make it through to the end quickly and without falling in order to advance to the next level. The ultimate goal? Defeating the final, brutally-difficult course: Mount Midoriyama. With 11 seasons under its belt, only three people have completed the course, two taking home the million-dollar prize for doing it the fastest. Peacock will offer next-day access to the upcoming 12th season starting September 8, 2020, as fans eagerly watch to see if anyone, including their returning favorites, will make it to the end this year.
Created by: Based on Sasuke by Ushio Higuchi
Cast: Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, various competitors
Number of seasons: 12
- The 50 best shows on Hulu right now
- The 44 best HBO series streaming right now
- The best shows on HBO Max right now
- The 50 best shows on Netflix right now
- The 53 best shows on Amazon Prime right now