During the NBCUniversal keynote at CES, Today‘s Natalie Morales was joined on the stage at the Park MGM Theater by Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal as well as This Is Us star Mandy Moore, America’s Got Talent host and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews, Pitch Perfect actress and Songland producer Ester Dean and La Reina del Sur‘s Kate del Castillo.
It would seem that there would be talk about NBCU’s forthcoming streaming service Peacock, but talk about it was very minimal as it seems they are saving all the Peacock talk for the Investor Meeting on Thursday, January 16. Instead, Yaccarino painted a picture with broad strokes of what’s in store for the future of NBCU.
“The future is all about personalization…to reach beyond the screen and form a personal relationship [with the audience] with the right ad with content — that’s when the magic happens,” she said. “We’re really excited about 2020 and beyond and the availability of choice via technology, it makes this quite a playground for all of us here at NBCU.”
The panel talked about how technology has changed how viewing habits and their own careers, but it mostly focused on how this new landscape of content puts the consumers in control. The prime example used is how fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine saved the comedy from cancelation when it moved from Fox to NBC. Crews said that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for social media and the loyal fans.
“When Brooklyn Nine-Nine came home to NBC, it was social media that fueled that decision-making,” said Yaccarino. “Those are the times when tech gives consumers a voice.”
In addition, Yaccarino said there is an emphasis on quality vs. quantity with NBCU’s slate which, in 2020 will feature coverage of Tokyo Olympics, the upcoming election and, of course, Peacock. The streaming service, which is set to launch in April, will include reboots of their popular properties that have had an impact on popular culture including Battlestar Galactica, Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster. It will also feature the Ed Helms-Mike Schur comedy Rutherford Falls; a weekly show starring Late Night‘s Amber Ruffin; limited series Dr. Death, starring Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater; an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World; the drama Straight Talk starring Jada Pinkett Smith and directed by Rashida Jones as well as Angelyne, starring Emily Rossum who will executive produce alongside Sam Esmail. The streaming service will also be the exclusive go-to platform for sitcom classics that have continued to define pop culture including The Office, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, Cheers and Frasier. And of course, it will continue to serve new episodes of their current programming including This Is Us, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and America’s Got Talent.
It will also feature the Spanish-language dramedy Armas De Mujler, from the team behind Telemundo’s hit La Reina del Sur, which stars del Castillo and has become the #1 show in the U.S. on Telemundo. This speaks to NBCU’s continuing strive for diverse content — and it reflected on their panel which featured all women and people of color.
“It goes back to who we are serving,” said Yaccarino. “We don’t want to serve them junk. With this panel, we are aware of who we want to serve with premium content. We have to meet them on their terms — anywhere, any time and on any screen.”