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NBCU unveils Peacock streamer, plans April launch

NBCUniversal (NBCU) has ordered a raft of new shows and snatched back rights to Amy Poehler comedy Parks And Recreation from Netflix for its new streaming service, which it has named Peacock and said will launch in April.

Peacock will offer 15,000 hours of programming, with Parks And Recreation set to become available from October 2020 – six months after the streamer launches. Other shows to become accessible – on a non-exclusive basis – include 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Friday Night Lights and Saturday Night Live.

Hits such as Will & Grace, King of Queens and Married With… Children will also become available along with Downton Abbey and Parenthood, while reboots of Battlestar Galactica, Punky Brewster and Saved By The Bell are in the works.

Other original series include Rutherford Falls, from The Good Place creator Mike Shur and about an argument over a statue in a New York town.

Chad Hamilton will executive produce the Battlestar Galactica series, which is coming from Mr Robot‘s creator Sam Esmail, while other originals include Dr Death.

The latter, starring Alex Baldwin, is based on the eponymous podcast and will tell the true story of Dr Christopher Duntsch, who injured and murdered patients who had been admitted for spinal surgery.

Unscripted originals are also in the works, including Who Wrote That, The Amber Ruffin Show and a series spun off from the Real Housewives franchise, with details not yet revealed.

The shows will join recent acquisition The Office, which was also pulled back from Netflix for NBCU’s US-based streamer earlier this year and will become available on an exclusive basis from 2021.

Bonnie Hammer, NBCU’s chairman of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, has also said she is open to further reboots, telling US trade Deadline that a reboot of The Office is her “hope and goal.”

Shows such as 30 Rock and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will not be exclusive to Peacock because NBCU sold rights to Hulu for the shows until 2024, which the Comcast-backed outfit still has a 33% stake in. However, those deals can be terminated in three years as part of the agreement NBCU struck with Disney earlier this year.

Other series on the Peacock slate, which to date had been largely bereft of details, include previously announced drama Brave New World, based on the iconic Aldous Huxley novel, and movie acquisitions from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation.

Despicable Me, Fast & Furious franchises, American Pie and A Beautiful Mind will all be available, among numerous others such as Back To The Future.