NBCU Streamer Gets Name, Sets Slate Of Reboots, ‘Dr. Death’, Ed Helms & Amber Ruffin Series, ‘Parks & Rec’

NBC Universal’s upcoming streaming service has a name, and it does not feature “plus” or “max,” NBCU shunned the ongoing trend to go with Peacock (www.peacocktv.com), a nod to NBC’s iconic logo. The company also unveiled its initial programming slate, which includes three reboots of popular NBCU series, a new Battlestar Galactica from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, as well as contemporary takes on Saved By the Bell, from Great News creator Tracey Wigfield, with original cast members Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley set to star and produce; and Punky Brewster, with Soleil Moon Frye set to reprise her role.

Courtesy of Netflix
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Peacock’s original programming slate also includes Ed Helms-Mike Schur comedy series Rutherford Falls; a weekly show starring Late Night standout Amber Ruffin; limited series Dr. Death, starring Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater, and Angelyne, starring/exec produced Emily Rossum and exec produced by her husband, Esmail; a behind-the-scenes at Saturday Night Live docuseries Who Wrote That; the Spanish-language dramedy series Armas De Mujler, from the team behind Telemundo’s hit La Reina del Sur; and drama pilot Straight Talk starring Jada Pinkett Smith and directed by Rashida Jones.

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The straight-to-series comedy Rutherford Falls, co-created by The Office alums Helms Schur and starring Helms, had been in the works at Apple.

NBCU also confirmed that the big-budget utopian drama series Brave New World, originally ordered by USA, will be on Peacock, along with the second Psych movie, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, which also will move from USA to Peacock.

NBC

On the acquisition front, Peacock has handed exclusive streaming rights to Parks and Recreation, which will come to the streamer in October 2020, followed by The Office in January 2021. The platform revealed a string of other acquired series from the NBCU vault and outside studios, which it will carry on a non-exclusive basis.The service will also feature films from Universal Pictures, like the Fast & Furious franchise and E.T, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination.

You can see a full list of Peacock’s original and acquired programming to date below the post.

NBCU

Peacock, which employs both AVOD and SVOD model, will launch in April 2020 with over 15,000 hours of content. That will be primarily acquired series and movies as well as topical content across news, including entertainment news via E!, sports, late-night and reality supplied by the various divisions of NBCU.

The company’s multi-platform Olympics coverage has not been unveiled yet but Peacock is expected to have some Olympic content, said Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises. “And then we build and promote off the Olympics to market  and launch some of our originals in the fall.”

Peacock’s original scripted series will begin rolling out in fall 2020, on the heels of the Summer Olympics, when the streamer also will start seeing NBCU titles currently on Hulu migrating to it, including Parks & Recreation.

Hammer laid out Peacock’s strategy for original scripted series as, “we want there to be some connective tissue to what we also have in the library.”

Esmail Deadline

For instance, Sam Esmail’s new Battlestar Galactica reboot will run alongside the popular original Sci Fi Channel series from Ron Moore, which also will be available on Peacock. The new Schur-Helms comedy series Rutherford Falls shares sensibility with two acquired series, The Office, which co-starred Helms and on which Schur was a key writer-producer, and Parks & Recreation, which Schur co-created.

“All of our choices, especially in the beginning, we are doing them strategically so they connect back to our legacy,” Hammer said, noting that she is open for more reboots, with The Office at the top of her list.

NBCU-owned DreamWorks Animation, which has been producing original series primarily for Netflix, is not exclusive to the SVOD rival and will also be making series and movies for Peacock, along with Universal and Focus, who also will contribute original films to the streamer’s slate.

On the unscripted side, Peacock’s first announced series are extensions of established NBCU franchises, like SNL or The Real Housewives.

“In the early stages we will be doing spinoffs but we also are in the middle of development of fresh originals directly connected to the stuff that we have on the air already,” Hammer said, stressing the advantages of doing spinoffs for cross-marketing new Peacock shows to the built-in audience watching the linear shows on TV.

As for the name of the service, “we looked at thousands of possibilities,” Hammer said. “The name Peacock pays homage to the quality content that audiences have come to expect from NBCUniversal – whether it’s culture-defining dramas from innovative creators like Sam Esmail, laugh-out-loud comedies from legends like Lorne Michaels and Mike Schur, blockbusters from Universal Pictures, or buzzy unscripted programming from the people who do it best at Bravo and E!.”

Original Drama Series

ANGELYNE (limited series)
Logline: Limited series based on The Hollywood Reporter feature that explored the identity of L.A.’s mysterious billboard bombshell.
EP: Emmy Rossum via Composition 8
EP: Sam Esmail via EsmailCorp
EP: Chad Hamilton via Anonymous Content
EP: Lucy Tcherniak
EP: Allison Miller
T: Emmy Rossum
Consultant: Gary Baum
Studio: UCP

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Logline: Battlestar Galactica returns to television with Sam Esmail producing.
EP: Sam Esmail
EP: Chad Hamilton
Studio: UCP

BRAVE NEW WORLD
Logline: Based on Aldous Huxley’s groundbreaking 1932 novel, Brave New Worldimagines a utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself.
W: David Wiener
EP/Showrunner: David Wiener
EP: Grant Morrison
EP: Darryl Frank via Amblin Television
EP: Justin Falvey via Amblin Television
EP/Director: Owen Harris
EP (first episode): Brian Taylor
Studio: UCP
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Jessica Brown Findlay, Harry Lloyd, Kylie Bunbury, Hannah John-Kamen, Sen Mitsuji, Joseph Morgan, Nina Sosanya and Demi Moore

DR. DEATH
Logline: Based on Wonderly’s hit podcast, Dr. Death tells the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Jamie Dornan), a rising star in the Dallas medical community. Young, charismatic and ostensibly brilliant, Dr. Duntsch was building a flourishing neurosurgery practice when everything suddenly changed. Patients entered his operating room for complex but routine spinal surgeries and left permanently maimed or dead. As victims piled up, two fellow physicians, neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), set out to stop him. Dr. Death explores the twisted mind of a sociopath and the gross negligence of the system designed to protect the most defenseless among us.
W/EP: Patrick Macmanus
T: Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater
EP: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch (Escape Artists)
EP: Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy (Wondery)
Studio: UCP

ONE OF US IS LYING (pilot)
Logline: Based on Karen M. McManus’s best-selling novel, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into
detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
W: Erica Saleh
A: Karen M. McManus (based on her novel)
P: 5 More Minutes Productions (John Sacchi and Matt Groesch)
Studio: UCP

Original Comedy Series

A.P. BIO (Season 4)
Logline: When disgraced Harvard philosophy professor Jack Griffin loses out on his dream job, he is forced to return to Toledo, Ohio, and work as a high school Advanced Placement biology teacher. As he comes crashing in to Whitlock High School, Jack makes it absolutely clear he will not be teaching any biology. Realizing he has a room full of honor roll students at his disposal, Jack decides instead to use the kids for his own benefit. Eager to prove that he is still king of the castle, Principal Durbin struggles to control the force of nature that is Jack Griffin.
W/EP: Mike O’Brien
T: Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn, Jean Villepique and Paula Pell
EP: Seth Meyers, Mike Shoemaker, Andrew Singer, Lorne Michaels
Studios: Universal Television, Broadway Video
Production Company: Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions

PUNKY BREWSTER (pilot)
Logline: In this multicamera/hybrid continuation of the iconic 80s sitcom about a bright young girl raised by a foster dad, Punky is now a single mother of three trying to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self.
Pilot credits:
W/EP: Steve and Jim Armogida
EP/T: Soleil Moon Frye
EP: Tim Pastore and Jimmy Fox (All3Media America/Main Event Media)
EP: David Duclon
D/EP: Jonathan Judge
Studio: UCP/Universal Television

RUTHERFORD FALLS
Logline:A small town in upstate New York is turned upside down when local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) fights the moving of a historical statue.
EP/W/Co-creator/T: Ed Helms
EP/W/Co-creator: Michael Schur
EP/W/Co-creator: Sierra Teller Ornelas
EP/NW: David Miner, Mike Falbo
Studio: Universal Television
Production companies: Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment, Pacific Electric Picture Company

SAVED BY THE BELL (reboot)
Logline: When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality.
EP/W: Tracey Wigfield
P/T: Mario Lopez
P/T: Elizabeth Berkley
EP: Peter Engel, Franco Bario
Studio: Universal Television

STRAIGHT TALK
Logline: Straight Talk examines what happens when two opposing ideologies are forced into an odd coupling. The main characters will be challenged by one another, making the moral lines at which they once stood harder to define.
Pilot credits:
W/Creator: Kara Brown
D/EP/NW: Rashida Jones
T/EP: Jada Pinkett Smith
EP: Joy Gorman (Anonymous Content)
EP: Deniese Davis (Color Creative)
Studio: Universal Television & Anonymous Content

Original Unscipted Series

THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW
Logline: Each week The Amber Ruffin Show will showcase Amber’s signature smart-and-silly take on the week. A late-night show with just the good parts – the comedy.
T: Amber Ruffin
EP: Seth Meyers, Mike Shoemaker
W: Jenny Hagel

WHO WROTE THAT
Logline: A docuseries that gives a behind the scenes look at Saturday Night Live‘s most important writers.
W/EP: Andy Breckman & Susan Morrison
D: Brent Hodge
EP: Lorne Michaels, Andrew Singer, Erin Doyle, Erik Howard (Broadway Video)
EP: Howard Klein (3 Arts)
EP: Derik Murray, Brian Gersh (Network Entertainment)
Associate Producer: Eddie Michaels (Broadway Video)

UNTITLED REAL HOUSEWIVES SPINOFF (no details provided)

Original Telefilm

PSYCH 2: LASSIE COME HOME
Logline: Santa Barbara Police Chief Carlton Lassiter is ambushed on the job and left for dead. In a vintage Psych-style Hitchcockian nod, he begins to see impossible happenings around his recovery clinic. Shawn and Gus return to Lassie’s side in Santa Barbara and are forced to navigate the personal, the professional, and possibly the supernatural. Separated from their new lives in San Francisco, our heroes find themselves unwelcome in their old stomping grounds as they secretly untangle a twisted case without the benefit of the police, their loved ones, or the quality sourdough bakeries of the Bay Area. What they uncover will change the course of their relationships forever.
W/D/EP: Steve Franks
W/EP: James Roday
W: Andy Berman
EP: Chris Henzie
EP: Dulé Hill
Studio: UCP in association with Thruline Entertainment
Cast: James Roday, Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen and Tim Omundson

Catalog Series

Bates Motel
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Cheers
Chrisley Knows Best
Covert Affairs
Downton Abbey
Everybody Loves Raymond
Frasier
Friday Night Lights
House
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
The King of Queens
Married … with Children
Monk
Parks and Recreation 
(exclusive, available Oct. 2020)
Parenthood
The Office 
(exclusive, available Jan. 2021)
Psych
The Real Housewives
Royal Pains

Saturday Night Live
Superstore
30 Rock
Top Chef
Will & Grace
100 Dias Para Volver (Spanish-language)
Betty in NY 
(Spanish-language)
El Barón 
(Spanish-language)
Preso No. 1 
(Spanish-language)

Original Movies to Be Created By

Universal Pictures
Focus Features
DreamWorks Animation

Library Movies

American Pie
Back to the Future
A Beautiful Mind
Bourne 
franchise
The Breakfast Club

Bridesmaids
Brokeback Mountain
Casino
Dallas Buyers Club
Despicable Me 
franchise
Do the Right Thing
Erin Brockovich
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Fast & Furious
Field of Dreams
Jaws
Knocked Up
Mamma Mia!
Meet the Fockers
Meet the Parents
Shrek