NBCUniversal is out to prove its new Peacock streaming service won’t be just a dumping ground for reruns and old movies.
The company, owned by Comcast Corp., unveiled a slate of original series and films for Peacock, though some shows will be delayed because of pandemic-spurred production shutdowns.
The line-up includes “Brave New World,” based on the Aldous Huxley novel about a future society, a documentary starring swimmer Ryan Lochte, and animated kids shows like “Curious George” and “Where’s Waldo.” There’s also a full-length movie called “Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.” The programmes will be available when Peacock is introduced nationwide on July 15.
The ad-supported streaming service, which became available for free to Comcast customers on April 15 as part of a gradual rollout, faces plenty of competition for viewers. Walt Disney Co., Apple Inc. and the short-form video provider Quibi have all introduced new services in recent months, and AT&T Inc.’s HBO Max debuts in late May. Other media giants, meanwhile, have been bolstering their online offerings with free streaming services, such as Tubi and Pluto TV.
The production freeze brings another challenge. Like much of Hollywood, NBCUniversal has been forced to stop filming new shows and movies, delaying programming that it had planned to unveil on Peacock, such as a reboot of “Saved by the Bell.”
Peacock Chairman Matt Strauss has said production delays will limit the initial slate of new shows and the service expects to release more original programs later this year and next.
In the meantime, Peacock’s library of shows will still have to do much of the work of attracting viewers. It has more than 600 movies and 400 TV series, including reruns of NBC shows such as “The Office.” And it will feature the exclusive streaming rights for new Universal films, such as the ninth “Fast & Furious” movie and the third “Jurassic World.”