NBCUniversal will join the growing ranks of new streaming services, including — but definitely not limited to — Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, and Quibi. The company's new ad-supported service, Peacock, which launched on April 15 exclusively for Xfinity customers and will become widely available on July 15, not only hopes to rival those other new services with its library of original and exclusive content, but also to take on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, which until recently had dominated the streaming market.
The new platform will include a sizable portion of NBCUniversal's archive, including beloved comedies like The Office and Parks and Recreation, critically acclaimed dramas such as Friday Night Lights and Downton Abbey, and much-loved films including Back to the Future and the Fast & Furious franchise. Peacock will also entice viewers to subscribe with its buzzy slate of originals, including new projects from Mike Schur and Lorne Michaels.
Here's everything we know about Peacock so far.
It launches widely this month. NBCUniversal's new streaming service, Peacock, launched on Wednesday, April 15 for Xfinity and Xfinity Flex subscribers and will be available widely on Wednesday, July 15. NBCUniversal was reportedly "evaluating" moving up the launch date in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but the streaming service appears to be sticking with its planned July launch and has since revealed the library of originals and old favorites that will be available on July 15.
There are three price tiers for the service. It was announced during Peacock's launch presentation in January 2020 that there will be three different price tiers for the service. There will be a free ad-supported version with half the content of the full service. For $5/month, viewers can have ad-supported access to the full Peacock library. Cable subscribers with certain services, like Comcast, will have access to the ad-supported premium version for free. An ad-free experience will be available for $10/month.
It will be available on Apple devices. At the time of its national launch in July, Peacock will be available on Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K, and Apple TV HD. The service will be fully integrated with the Apple TV app. Customers will be able to sign up for Peacock Free or upgrade to Peacock Premium directly within the Peacock app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV using in-app purchase.
Ads will be limited to five minutes per hour. No one loves ads, but Peacock executives made the promise that the ads would be limited to five minutes per hour, which is about a third less than linear cable. Deadline reports that Capital One, L'Oreal, Molson Coors, Subaru, Verizon, Apartments.com, State Farm, Target, and Unilever will be the service's launch sponsors.
The loss of the Summer Olympics is a big blow to Peacock. The 2020 Olympics were supposed to play a major role in the Peacock rollout, but with the Olympics postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the streaming service is losing a major piece of its initial selling proposition.
Your old favorites are returning. Plenty of your nostalgic favorites are being revived or rebooted on the new platform. Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley will reprise their roles as A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano, respectively, in a Saved By the Bell sequel. A new Battlestar Galactica series from Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) and Michael Lesslie (The Little Drummer Girl) has been given a straight-to-series order. And Soleil Moon Frye is reprising her titular role in a Punky Brewster sequel series. Plus, NBC's canceled comedy A.P. Bio will return for an all-new third season on Peacock, and the anticipated Psych movie sequel, titled Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, will also debut on the platform — and it will be available at launch. Head here for more on all of the shows and movies in the works at Peacock.
More original scripted shows are in the works. New original dramas headed to Peacock include Brave New World, starring Demi Moore, and Dr. Death, starring Alec Baldwin, Jamie Dornan, and Christian Slater. Comedies include Rutherford Falls, co-created by Mike Schur, Sierra Teller Ornelas, and Ed Helms, who also stars; and Rashida Jones' pilot Straight Talk, starring Jada Pinkett Smith. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Norman Lear, and Mindy Kaling are also among the big names developing shows for Peacock. Check out the full list of Peacock originals here.
The first batch of trailers has arrived. Peacock dropped an epic thread of new trailers for its upcoming projects on Twitter, including the Saved By the Bell revival, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, the Punky Brewster revival, and many more.
Time out! Who's psyched to see the first #SavedByTheBell teaser!? Check out this flock of first looks from #PeacockTV originals streaming soon. Threaded for your viewing pleasure! pic.twitter.com/XdIZ7BN9tV— Peacock (@peacockTV) April 16, 2020
Peacock is developing a slate of unscripted programming, including its own late-night show. The streaming service will attempt to break into the late-night game with its weekly show starring comedian Amber Ruffin from Seth Meyers. Its full slate of originals will also include a new talk show from Jimmy Fallon where kids interview adults, a Real Housewives spin-off, and an SNL docuseries Who Wrote That, from creator Lorne Michaels.
A new Telemundo series is in the works for Peacock. In addition to new original dramedy Armas de Mujer, more than 3,000 hours of content from NBCU's Telmundo will be available to stream.
Peacock will be a destination for news. MSNBC, Telemundo Noticias, and Dateline will all have a digital home on the series along with a new version of Meet the Press. "Our ambition is a lot bigger than just putting on another show or two," Meet the Press host Chuck Todd told investors at the launch presentation. "We're going to be able to create a central location for how people consume and understand politics for the next 70 years."
TV favorites are making Peacock their exclusive streaming home. Your go-to NBC comedy favorites are transferring to a new home. The Office will leave Netflix for Peacock in January 2021, while Parks and Recreation will make the move to Peacock and will disappear from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu in October 2020. Additionally, several other notable titles will be available on Peacock, eventually becoming exclusive to the service. This includes comedies like 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, King of Queens, Married... With Children, Superstore, and Will & Grace. On the drama side, Peacock will feature Bates Motel, Battlestar Galactica, Covert Affairs, Downton Abbey, Friday Night Lights, House, Monk, Parenthood, Psych, and Royal Pains. The streaming service will also add unscripted programming such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Real Housewives, Top Chef, Chrisley Knows Best, and Saturday Night Live (reportedly, the platform will offer every completed season of SNL since its 1975 premiere).
Plenty of big-name movies will be available for streaming. Much-loved films available to stream on Peacock at launch include American Pie, Back to the Future, A Beautiful Mind, the Bourne franchise, The Breakfast Club, Bridesmaids, Brokeback Mountain, Casino, Dallas Buyers Club, all Despicable Me movies, Do the Right Thing, Erin Brockovich, E.T., the Fast & Furious franchise, Field of Dreams, Jaws, Knocked Up, Mamma Mia!, Meet the Fockers, Meet the Parents, and Shrek.
A ton of ViacomCBS shows and movies will be available, too. Peacock scored a deal with ViacomCBS that will make a host of titles available to stream when the platform launches. The list of shows includes Ray Donovan, The Affair, the original Charmed, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, Undercover Boss, and Real Husbands of Hollywood. You'll also be able to watch movies like The Godfather trilogy, Catch Me If You Can, The Talented Mr. Ripley, American Beauty, Patriot Games, Last Holiday, Fatal Attraction, The Firm, and An Officer and a Gentleman, among others, on Peacock.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)