Easy arguments can be made that there are already too many streaming services in the world right now, but there's at least one more major addition on the way in the form of NBCUniversal's Peacock. Considering the long TV history of the studios and networks involved, Peacock could very well make quite a splash when it goes live on July 15, thanks to its free and paid subscription tiers boasting a vast lineup of fan-favorite programming, from SNL to Cheers to The Office, eventually.
For the streaming fan who just can't get enough new shows to watch, though, Peacock will indeed boast an assortment of scripted and unscripted original series, from brand new projects to fan-favorite revivals. Below, we'll go over the ten Peacock originals that I am most excited to watch whenever they premiere.
Saved By The Bell
With a lasting legacy that's both mind-boggling and perfectly understandable to '90s youths, Saved by the Bell is returning to enroll a new generation of TV viewers into Bayside High School. With Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkeley back as series regulars, Peacock's Saved by the Bell will follow Haskiri Velazquez's Zack-esque Daisy, who transfers to Bayside after her former school gets closed down. Against all logic, Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Zack Morris has become California's governor, with the actor and his on-screen wife Tiffani Thiessen (as Kelly Kapowski) each signed on to appear in three Season 1 episodes. As the revival's principal, the always excellent John Michael Higgins serves as Mr. Belding's successor. If this revival is inevitably a mess, it's probably only because the teacher popped a test and the dog ate all our homework.
At a time when seemingly anyone can achieve a certain level of fame online, Peacock is reintroducing audiences to an entertainer who wrote the book on grassroots popularity. The miniseries Angelyne will tell the tale of the titular singer, actress and model (born Ronia Tamar Goldberg) whose boosted her own unique rise to fame by appearing in sultry poses on a series of L.A. billboards in the early 80's. With former Six Feet Under and True Blood writer and producer Nancy Oliver as creator, Angelyne is perhaps most notable for being beloved Shameless vet Emmy Rossum's return to TV after exiting the Showtime hit. As semi-biographical TV dramas go, Angelyne definitely looks like a one-of-a-kind experience.
Ronald D. Moore's 2004 take on Battlestar Galactica stands as one of the greatest TV reboots ever, and the franchise is returning with Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail as the developer. While there's always reason to be wary about cherished TV shows getting reinterpreted, more Battlestar can never be a bad thing. A bottom-to-top reboot would have been reason enough to get excited, but Esmail and showrunner Michael Lesslie will apparently keep the new BSG series within the already established universe that Moore set up. Given this project hasn't yet built its ensemble cast, with the presumably high-end production still being a ways away, it's unclear exactly when Battlestar Galactica will debut on Peacock, but I'm betting it'll be worth the frakking wait.
The immediate comedy hook for Rutherford Falls is that it'll be an NBC-adjacent reunion for Ed Helms and former Office writer/producer Mike Schur, who also created The Good Place and co-created Parks and Recreation. The timely narrative is set in a reservation-bordering small town in upstate New York where a statue of the town's founder is potentially in danger of getting moved. In a wise attempt to avoid cultural stereotyping, Rutherford Falls is headed up by Indigenous showrunner Sierra Teller Ornellas, and within the writers room she developed (which includes Schur and Helms), five of the twelve writers are Indigenous. Expect to see seemingly simple townspeople exploring deeper issues in Rutherford Falls, and at least one reference to Pawnee, Indiana.
The Amber Ruffin Show
As the first black woman to ever serve on a late night talk show's writer staff, Late Night with Seth Meyers' writer/performer Amber Ruffin is perfectly suited to take on a talk show of her own for Peacock. The Amber Ruffin Show aims to hinge more on the host's sillier side, with a focus on pure comedy and presumably less headline news, though it presumably won't go as far off the beaten path as The Eric Andre Show. One can only hope this talk show format can reach the same comedic heights as other projects that Ruffin has written for, such as Comedy Central's hilarious Detroiters (with Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson) and HBO's A+ series A Black Lady Sketch Show.
Brave New World
Battlestar Galactica won't be the first sci-fi project with name recognition that will grace Peacock's streaming library. First will be Brave New World, an updated take on Aldous Huxley's classic dystopian novel that stars Alden Ehrenreich, Demi Moore, Jessica Brown Findlay, Harry Lloyd and more. This will be the third TV version of Brave New World since its 1932 publishing, following the 1980 version and the 1998 version with Leonard Nimoy, and perhaps it will be the most poignant one yet. I cannot wait to see how the how handles a society where sex and hallucinogens are embraced, while money and family values are not. Here's hoping it taps more into a Clockwork Orange vein than something more Westworld-ian.
Will Forte's special ops agents MacGruber entered existence via a series of ridiculous SNL shorts in which the blindly obtuse character consistently fails to disarm explosives. Against all odds, the concept was expanded into a full-length feature in 2010 that worked largely because of Forte's gung-ho performance. Now, MacGruber is heading back to audiences via Peacock, with creator Jorma Taccone back at the helm, and a new mission to take down a villain from his past. What's not to be excited about here? Hopefully splitting the story up across episodes will be the perfect balance between the extremely short SNL segments and a full-blown movie, and that the TV show lands as great of a TV villain as Val Kilmer was for the film.
As Disney gets set to finally start filming its long-gestating live-action adaptation of its own 1989 take on The Little Mermaid, Peacock will be giving fairy tale fans a comedic follow-up to the original story from Hans Christian Andersen. Created by Jane the Virgin writer Gracie Glassmeyer, the series Washed Up will be set in the modern day, 15 years after the events of the story took place, and its central former mermaid will be in a loveless marriage, lacking the motivation to make her life better. She gets shaken out of her rut by an investigation into her father's suspiciously sudden death, and the adventure that ensues provides her the chance to save both her underwater domain but also the rest of the world. With the right tone, Washed Up could be an excellent alternative for mermaid lovers looking for non-Disney storytelling.
To put it simply, Girls5Eva is the latest TV show to be co-created by Tina Fey, which is justification enough for it to be on this list...but it also sounds fabulous. Co-created with Meredith Scardino (a former writer of both David Letterman's Late Show and The Colbert Report), Girls5Eva is about an all-girl pop group who made it big as a one-hit wonder in the '90s, and focuses on their later-in-life reunion as they try to reach their musical dreams anew. From 30 Rock's Liz and Jenna to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Indiana Mole Women, Fey is an expert at crafting unique and idiosyncratic female clusters, and I'm already throwing money at my screen for a future Girls5Eva soundtrack.
Psych 2: Lassie Come Home
While technically not a TV show in the strictest sense, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home is the second TV movie follow-up to USA's beloved buddy dramedy. Plus, the James Roday and Dulé Hill-starring feature can technically be split into two separate episodes if someone is so invested, but don't be. This continuation will feature the more palpable return of Jimmi Simpson's Mary Lightly, the addition of Community's Joel McHale, and it will also incorporate star Timothy Omundson's real-life stroke into his character Lassie's story. I'm also excited that Peacock is bringing Glenn Howerton's A.P. Bio back for Season 3, but when it comes to the streaming service's follow-up projects, Psych 2 tips the scales.
Again, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Peacock's original programming plans. The service will also feature the next big Law & Order spinoff in the form of Hate Crimes (which was preemptively deemed too intense for NBC proper), the aforementioned return of A.P. Bio, quite a few sports-centric docu-series and more. Peacock will go live for subscribers on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. In the meantime, check out the service's upcoming schedule with our Summer 2020 TV premiere rundown.