After months of waiting, the NBC Peacock TV streaming service began its soft-launch in April. And now that we're only two months away from its full launch in July, it's the perfect time for NBCU to distribute the schedule for original programming.
Yes, we're in a busy time for streaming, as our Quibi review showed how that service isn't quite there yet (though it's coming to TVs), but Comcast's NBCUniversal brands think there's more room in the pool. We've got a ton more details about the service, including shows available at (or near) launch, where the service is available in this stage of the launch, and which tier of the service is starting now.
- The best streaming devices for optimal binge-watching
- The Peacock TV shows and movies to look forward to
- What's the difference between NBC Peacock Free vs Premium?
Plus, we're still keeping track of all Peacock shows and movies planned for the service, which include one down note, as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will have to wait until 2021.
In addition to more than 600 movies and 400 shows, the new streaming service will offer live and on-demand content across news, sports and late night.
Here’s what we know so far about NBC’s Peacock TV service, including its release date, pricing and shows.
NBC Peacock TV: Release date
The full Peacock launch, for all audiences, is set for July 15. At that time Peacock's big show will be Brave New World, an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s sci-fi novel, starring Bernard Marx (Game of Thrones), Lenina Crowne (Downton Abbey) and Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story. The network will also offer The Capture, a conspiracy thriller chock full of espionage and questionable news, starring Callum Turner (War & Peace), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), and Famke Janssen (X-Men).
For laughs, there's the UK series Intelligence, which sees David Schwimmer (Friends) as NSA agent Jerry Bernstein, who joins the cyber crime fighting team across the pond, and it doesn't go swimmingly. There's also the film Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, bringing James Roday and Dule Hill back to TV.
There's even sports content to try and fill the void of leagues on hiatus. In Deep With Ryan Lochte is an examination of the disgraced olympian trying to redeem himself. Dale Earnhardt Jr. hosts Lost Speedways, a docuseries about the iconic racing stadiums of years past.
New series Cleopatra In Space, and original shows starring Curious George and Where's Waldo round out the kids content.
The initial release of the Peacock streaming service began on April 15, as an exclusive for Comcast Xfinity X1 and Flex customers. Check out our Peacock review to see how that early sample is working out. If it hasn't appeared yet, you can check if it's in your device by hitting the Voice Command button and saying "Peacock."
Peacock will be exclusive to the USA for now, but Sky customers in the U.K. are supposed to get Peacock eventually.
NBC Peacock TV: Cost and price tiers
Times are tough and our pockets are getting tighter, so it's good that Peacock starts as a freebie and works its way up to a premium service.
Comcast subscribers getting Peacock between April 15 and July 15 are getting the ad-supported version of Peacock Premium, with an option to pay more to upgrade
Peacock Free: The free and ad-supported streaming service will house 7,500 hours of programming. That includes next day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast series; select episodes of marquee Peacock originals and tent-pole series; complete classic series; popular movies; curated daily news and sports programming such as the Olympics; and Spanish-language content. Peacock's free streaming service will also feature genre channels such as "SNL Vault," Family Movie Night” and “Olympic Profiles.”
Peacock Premium: Those participating now will either get the Peacock Premium for free (with ads) via their Comcast subscription, or pay $5 per month to remove those ads. Peacock Premium will cost $4.99 per month if you don't have Comcast, and those subscribers will pay $9.99 per month to get Peacock Premium without ads.
Both tiers will have access to 15,000 hours of programming, including next-day streaming of all current broadcast shows; full seasons of originals like Mindy Kaling’s Expecting and Sam Esmail’s Battlestar Galactica reboot; early streaming of NBC’s late-night lineup. Once live sports (including Premiere League football and the Olympics) are back, they'll be on both tiers.
NBC Peacock TV: Apps and supported devices
During these first two months, Peacock is available within Comcast devices that customers already own, including X1 and Flex hardware. After July 15, Peacock is expected to fly to all the popular streaming devices.
On May 6, NBCUniversal announced that Peacock will be available "across all Apple devices," including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and both the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. It will also be "fully integrated with the Apple TV App," so you can get Peacock content from the same app that feeds in content from many other apps on tvOS.
The next day (May 7), NBCU sent another email to the press, informing us that Peacock will also be on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. We're starting to wonder if Peacock's having an advent calendar-esque string of device announcements.
Comcast did not specify which other devices Peacock will be on, but we expect to see Peacock on on popular web, mobile and connected-TV devices, from makers including Amazon and Roku.
NBC Peacock TV: Shows and movies
The good news: Peacock will start off by offering lots from the library of NBC and its sister networks' classic shows. That includes beloved sitcoms like Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, as well as Saturday Night Live, and Cheers. There's also a lot of older programming for going retro, including The Johnny Carson Show, The Carol Burnett Show and The Greatest American Hero.
You also get a ton of Law & Order shows in a strong mix of drama programming that includes Friday Night Lights, House and Battlestar Galactica (the original, not the upcoming series). Also Parenthood and Monk, as well as other older shows such as Murder She Wrote, Columbo and The Rockford Files.
Reality TV is getting space on Peacock, bringing The Real Housewives of Dallas, Bethenny Ever After, Kourtney & Kim Take New York, Very Cavallari and WAGS (and many more) to the streaming service.
Obsessed with True Crime? Peacock's got Forensic Files, Unsolved Mysteries, Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, The Case of Caylee Anthony, Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks, The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway and many more.
And then there are the movies. You've got mega-blockbusters like the Jurassic Park franchise and E.T., as well as hits including Meet the Parents, Schindler’s List and Shrek. I'm more excited about films such as Lost in Translation, Reservoir Dogs, Children of Men and Moonrise Kingdom.
Plenty of kids content too: Peacock will pack in new and exclusive episodes of Curious George, Where’s Waldo? and Cleopatra in Space, as well as shows from the library including including Woody Woodpecker, Top Chef Jr., New Adventures of He-Man
Late Night TV without waiting: Looking for what Peacock has over current cable TV? Peacock Premium will have advance access to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Myers, which arrive three and a half hours early.
We're gonna have to wait for some stuff: The Office arrives on on Peacock in 2021, and the Peacock Originals are scheduled for later this year (and into 2021). Those series include a new adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, A.P. Bio, Dr. Death, and Real Housewives Mash-up.
Plus they're making all of those remakes you've heard of, for Saved By the Bell and Battlestar Galactica, which have TBA release dates. The Fast & Furious library is also expected to hit Peacock at some point.
One interesting bonus for Peacock Premium subscribers: They can watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Myers" three and a half hours early. No need to stay up for late night!
The big bad news: You might think of Friends as an NBC show, but it's already destined to arrive on HBO Max in May.
What's up with that? Oh, and Peacock is also lacking Seinfeld, which is currently on Hulu. Its absence is utterly perplexing.
NBC Peacock TV: Ads
NBC is pretty confident in its ad-supported approach because it's going low on the amount of ads -- with only 5 minutes per hour at the most. Yes, we all love to fast-forward through commercials to get to TV, if said TV is free, the success of Pluto TV shows that NBC is onto something here.