Ahead of Comcast’s investor presentation today to officially unveil NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service Peacock, the platform has announced its inaugural development slate. It includes comedies MacGruber, starring and co-written by Will Forte; and Clean Slate, starring and co-written by Laverne Cox and George Wallace. Creative auspices on Peacock’s series in development also include Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Norman Lear and Lorne Michaels, among others. The projects come from within NBCUniversal Content Studios — from both Universal TV and UCP — as well as from outside studios, Warner Bros. and Sony.
From the get-go, Peacock’s original series slate had a comedy bent, with sequels to sitcoms Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster among the platform’ first orders, along with pickups for A.P. Bio and Ed Helms-Mike Schur comedy Rutherford Falls.
The streamer’s development slate continues that programming direction. Five of the six projects on it are comedies, MacGruber; Clean Slate; Expecting, executive produced by Kaling; coming-of-age comedy Division One, co-written by Maggie Carey and Julia Brownell and executive produced by Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions; and fantasy animated comedy series The Adventure Zone. Additionally, Peacock has put in development an anthology drama series, whose first installment, Hatching Twitter, goes behind the meteoric rise of the tech company.
The new shows join previously announced Peacock series development project, a Queer as Folk reboot.
Forte is set to star, co-write and executive produce MacGruber, a series based on the character, which originated in a recurring MacGyver parody sketch on Saturday Night Live, with Jorma Taccone co-writing and directing and SNL boss Michaels executive producing.
Forte and Taccone previously turned the SNL skit into a 2010 action comedy feature produced by Michaels. It underperformed at the box-office but developed into a cult favorite. Forte and Taccone had been talking about doing a MacGruber movie sequel, with the project morphing into a TV series. In an interview in November, Forte indicated that the movie’s cast would return for the potential series, saying that “it seems like the whole group will be back.” Forte’s co-stars in the movie included Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillipe, and Val Kilmer.
The full Peacock slate with descriptions follows below:
The Adventure Zone
Based on the McElroy Family’s wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons podcast and #1 NY Times Bestselling graphic novel series—The Adventure Zone is a side-splitting and heart-filled fantasy animated comedy series that follows an unlikely, poorly equipped trio and their beleaguered Dungeon Master as they reluctantly embark on a quest to save their world.
Executive Producers: Clint McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Griffin McElroy
Writer/Executive Producer: Adam Higgs
Old school car wash owner, Henry, is thrilled that his estranged child is returning to Alabama after 17 years. However, Henry has a lot of soul searching to do when the child he thought was a son returns as the determined, proud, trans woman, Desiree.
Writer/Executive Producer: Dan Ewen
Writer/Executive Producer/Star: Laverne Cox
Writer/Producer/Star: George Wallace
Executive Producers: Norman Lear, Brent Miller
Producer: Paul Hilepo
Ellie, a fiercely independent but perpetually single music manager, has always wanted a family but never found a man worthy of the role of “father.” That is, until her 39th birthday, when she decides to ask her gay best friend and co-worker, Jonathan, if he’ll be her sperm donor. When Jonathan surprises himself by saying “yes,” it sets off a chain of events that turn Ellie and Jonathan’s personal and professional lives upside down as they try to turn their “chosen family” into a biological family.
Writer/Executive Producer: Chris Schleicher
Executive Producers: Mindy Kaling, Howard Klein
Studio: Warner Bros.
Division One is a coming-of-age comedy about an underdog women’s collegiate soccer team that gets a new female coach – a former professional soccer player who’s fallen from grace – and must decide whether or not they’re going to take the risk of trying to be great.
Writer/Director/Executive Producer: Maggie Carey
Writer/Executive Producer: Julia Brownell
Executive Producers: Amy Poehler (Paper Kite), Abby Wambach & Glennon Doyle, Kim Lessing (Paper Kite), Dave Becky & Tom Lassally (3Arts Entertainment)
Studio: Universal Television
Through exclusive access and exhaustive investigative reporting, New York Times best-selling author and Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton draws on hundreds of sources, documents, and internal e-mails to tell intimate true stories of companies behaving badly and technology gone awry. The first installment of this anthology series will be based on Bilton’s acclaimed book Hatching Twitter, a tale of betrayed friendships and high-stakes power struggles that accompanied the meteoric rise of the infamous tech company. 140 characters and a few lines of code changed the world, disrupting the very fabric of the way people communicate. This series will explore the real masterminds behind it all, how it was done, and the colossal ramifications the technology will have on our future.
Writer/Executive Producer: Nick Bilton
Executive Producer: Patrick Macmanus
After rotting in prison for over a decade, America’s ultimate hero and uber patriot MacGruber is finally released. His mission: to take down a mysterious villain from his past—Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth. With the entire world in the crosshairs, MacGruber (Will Forte), Vicki, and Piper must race against time to defeat the forces of evil. Only to find that evil… may be lurking within.
Writer/Executive Producer/Star: Will Forte
Writer/Director/Executive Producer: Jorma Taccone
Writer/Executive Producer: John Solomon
Executive Producers: Lorne Michaels, John Goldwyn, Andrew Singer & Erin David (Broadway Video)
Studio: Universal Television
Here is a video of the original SNL sketch: