The streaming service landscape almost changes on a day-to-day basis, as various other companies and startups attempt to enter the fray. NBCUniversal is set to be among them, with a new service appropriately titled Peacock. According to new reports (via Variety), Peacock is still expected to begin its scheduled preliminary rollout this week -- but with one major caveat. Matt Strauss, chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, told reporters that a "significant amount" of the service's original programming will be delayed until 2021, due to various shutdowns tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two animated TV series will be included in the early rollout -- Where's Waldo? and Cleopatra in Space.
“The majority of our original productions have been paused,” Strauss explained. “This will materially limit our original slate at launch and through 2020.”
Even then, Strauss expressed optimism that some of the original movies and shows might still be able to premiere in 2020, including the adaptation of Brave New World and the upcoming movie Psych 2: Lassie Comes Home.
“We’re all unclear when exactly things are going to go back to normal and we’re going to be able to pick up where we left off with certain aspects of the original productions,” Strauss added. “We are very, very optimistic that there’s a handful of originals that we will have. Brave New World, is essentially done, Psych movie is also done and some of the reboots like Punky Brewster and Saved By The Bell, we feel optimistic that we can also have them available in 2020 as well as a few others.”
Strauss also added that the service is "unclear" when production on those series is "going to be back to normal," something that essentially all of the entertainment industry has been feeling at the moment.
Other original offerings on Peacock will include a Battlestar Galactica reboot, a revival of MacGruber, adaptations of The Adventure Zone, Dr. Death and One of Us Is Lying, and a new season of A.P. Bio. The series will also feature a multitude of classic titles, including 30 Rock, Frasier, and Parks and Recreation.
Peacock is set to ultimately be available in three tiers -- Peacock Free, which will offer a select amount of content, and both ad-free and ad-supported versions of Peacock Premium. This week's preliminary rollout will provide Comcast cable customers with a complimentary "early preview" of the ad-supported Peacock Premium, with the option to pay $5 a month for an ad-free version when the service officially launches in July. For those who are not Comcast customers, Peacock Premium will be available in July for $4.99 a month with ads, and $9.99 a month without ads.
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