NBCUniversal has officially launched Peacock, a streaming platform designed to rival Netflix, Hulu, and a growing list of prominent services looking to capitalize on the burgeoning streaming industry. The service — which has been available to Comcast subscribers since April — includes classic TV series and movies, originals, and live content across all genres, including sporting events, talk shows, reality TV, and more.
What are the best shows available on Peacock right now? Here’s a selection of what you can watch now, including some of the latest originals, while you wait for the onslaught of reboots and revivals NBCUniversal has planned for the year ahead.
Brave New World
A Peacock original, this sci-fi dystopian drama is the latest in a number of TV and movie interpretations of the Aldous Huxley novel from 1932. Set in the future, a purported utopian society has gotten rid of everything from monogamy to privacy, money, family, and history. But a violent rebellion has begun, threatening the seemingly harmonious lifestyle. The show stars Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage and Jessica Brown Findlay as Lenina Crowne, and Demi Moore also appears in a recurring role. Initial reviews are polarizing, and while some early critics aren’t exactly enamoured with the plot, aesthetics and production value have been lauded for being “gorgeous” and “expensive.”
Originally airing on BBC One in 2019, this British mystery crime drama is set in present-day London where detective inspector Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) has arrested a U.K. Special Forces corporal named Shaun (Callum Turner) for an alleged kidnap and murder. Mysteriously, while CCTV footage makes it impossible to dispute the charges against him, he is adamant that it’s all a conspiracy and he didn’t do it. Somewhere amidst the drama lies the truth. There are just six episodes in the first season of this series that has been credited with “revitalizing…a tired genre.”
The curious and mischievous little monkey has been a part of childhoods since 1941, and now, the character will reappear on screen to get up to more antics. The newer season, which debuted in 2018 on Family Jr in Canada, is aimed at preschool-aged children and amps up the focus on education. While George is still his playful, funny, and troublemaking primate self, the series integrates concepts of STEM learning to help teach kids valuable skills and knowledge at a young age. As one would expect from this cheeky money, it will keep kids heartily giggling, too.
Cleopatra in Space
As the first DreamWorks Animation series to stream somewhere other than Netflix or Amazon Video at launch, this animated series is based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Mike Maihack. Geared at kids age 7 to 11, it tells the story of Cleopatra during her teenage years as she deals with the trials and tribulations of high school. Cleopatra travels through time and visits an Egyptian-themed planet ruled by talking cats, then enrolls in a special school to train how to take down bad guys and eventually find her way back home.
Delve into the world of racing as legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Matthew Dilner take you through the great racing cathedrals of the past. The pair talk about speedways that have been abandoned and overtaken by nature, and they welcome various racing legends as guests in every episode. Earnhardt Jr. is also the creator of the series, which will undoubtedly be a hit among NASCAR fans.
Relive all seven hilarious seasons of this sitcom, created by Tina Fey and starring the funny woman along with Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski, and Tracy Morgan. The series is loosely based on Fey’s real-life experiences as head writer on Saturday Night Live. It pulls back the curtain to show behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy show called 30 Rock while also poking fun at the inner workings and unique personalities involved with such a fast-paced, quirky show. The series earned tons of awards and accolades throughout its run and is often included on best sitcoms lists.
This comedy-drama, loosely based on the 1989 Ron Howard film and the second TV adaptation of the concept, aired for six seasons from 2010 to 2015. It followed the lives of three generations of the Braverman family, including the patriarch, matriarch, and their four children and their respective families. With Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard, Lauren Graham, and Erika Christensen among the cast members, it’s no surprise that the series was well-received. It was essentially the early ’10s version of This Is Us.
Friday Night Lights
Airing for five seasons from 2006 to 2011, this sports drama starring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton and inspired by the 1990 nonfiction book by H.G. Bissinger and the 2004 film adaptation, was lauded for its realistic representation of football culture and small-town Middle America. It was popular among critics and viewers alike, who called it everything from heartfelt and raw to fresh and absorbing.
Saturday Night Live
If you’ve been itching to check out your favorite sketches and skits from past episodes of this long-running sketch comedy series, whether from the Gilda Radner, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, or Adam Sandler eras, you can catch every last one through this service. Peacock will offer episodes in all 44 seasons of the show as well as the latest season once the finale airs on NBC, making it easy to find and re-watch your favorite segments.
Cheers is widely considered to be one of the best sitcoms ever to air on television. You can relive this ’80s and ’90s classic and all of its 11 seasons on the new streaming service. Every episode took place in the bar where everyone knows your name and followed the interactions of those who worked at the bar and those who patronized it. With a cast that included Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Rhea Perlman, Kelsey Grammer, and Kirstie Alley, just to name a few, it’s no wonder this series has gone down in the history books.
This 2002 military sci-fi series was a reimagining of the 1978 series of the same name about humans who live in a distant star system and are at war with an android race called the Cylons that they ironically created. After a massive attack, only 50,000 of billions of people in the human race survive thanks to civilian ships, and they must now try and escape to a colony known as Earth. It aired for four seasons back in 2004, and Peacock is also poised to offer a reboot of this series, headed up by Mr. Robot‘s Sam Esmail, that will address the modern climate.
Relive this British historical drama in its entirety, including all six seasons (no word on the movie). Set in the early 20th century in the fictional Yorkshire country estate, the series, which first aired in the U.S. on PBS, followed the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. While fictional, the series covers real-life events and how they impact the British social hierarchy, from the sinking of the Titanic to the Spanish influenza pandemic. The series was well received and praised, earning tons of Emmy nominations and wins.
Parks and Recreation
It’s one of those hilarious series that, if you haven’t yet watched it, you should; and those who already watched might very well be game for watching it all over again. Following the story of employees in the Parks Department of a fictional town called Pawnee, Indiana, the show aired for seven seasons. At the center of the plot were the small-town politics and red tape that made accomplishing things so difficult, though fans were able to get emotionally invested in every character. With a cast headed up by Amy Poehler that also included Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe, it’s a must-watch.
The tune “Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs,” sung by Kelsey Grammer, is instantly recognizable as the theme to this series, one of the most successful spin-offs ever to grace the small screen. Borne from Cheers, Frasier delved deeper into the story of one of the bar’s frequent patrons: Frasier Crane (Grammer), a successful psychiatrist and radio advice show host. Alongside Frasier, the series introduced a host of memorable characters including his elderly father Martin (John Mahoney) and his caregiver Daphne (Jane Leeves), his conservative and uptight brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), and, his producer Roz (Peri Gilpin). Running for 11 seasons, it isn’t only one of the most successful spin-offs in television history, but is also widely considered to be one of the best sitcoms ever.
The Carol Burnett Show
A trailblazer in the world of variety and sketch comedy, Burnett is one of the biggest comedic talents of the past few generations. Relive her original CBS series, which aired for 11 seasons in the ’70s and won 25 Primetime Emmy Awards. It’s often found on aggregated lists of the best television series of all time, from sources like TV Guide and Time, to name a few. Starring other huge names in comedy through its run, like Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, and Dick Van Dyke, the show paved the way for others to create memorable parodies and skits that can make viewers belly laugh. Among its best were “As the Stomach Turns” (a parody of soap opera As The World Turns) and “Kitchen Commercials.”
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Show
While The Tonight Show continues its successful run as the most popular late-night talk show, nothing beats Johnny Carson’s version of the series, which he hosted for 30 years from 1962 to 1992. Harken back to the old days by watching his interviews with celebrities of all kinds, marveling at his ever-quick wit and impeccable comedic timing. Recall how some of the biggest names in comedy performed sets on the show when they were just up-and-comers. And enjoy Carson’s casual conversational approach and entertainment segments that late-night talk show hosts continue to try and emulate today.
The series centers around a bunch of wealthy, arrogant, and successful corporate lawyers in New York running a firm and winning cases by doing whatever necessary to make their clients happy. When they happen upon a brilliant young aspiring lawyer named Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), the firm’s top lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) hires him on the spot. Except there’s one small but meaningful issue: Mike never graduated from Harvard and doesn’t actually have a degree or license to practice law. While the series first focuses on Mike and Harvey becoming the perfect team while also trying to hide the truth, it evolves into much more through the nine seasons. Keep an eye out for Duchess Meghan Markle, who had a starring role in the series’s first eight seasons.
One of the first, if not the first, medical dramas centered around an eccentric doctor, the concept has been played out in many ways since House graced our TV screens back in 2004. But still, no one has quite managed to top Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie), a surly but brilliant doctor who can’t stand the typical conventions of his job. Not to mention that he’s addicted to painkillers, which gives him a slight edge. But despite his quirks, Dr. House always manages to figure out what is going on with even the most mysterious and puzzling illnesses, often right in the nick of time. While the episodes get weird and can be repetitive and formulaic through the eight seasons, the wonderful performances by Laurie and other supporting cast members, including Lisa Edelstein, Jennifer Morrison, Omar Epps, and Kal Penn, make it totally entertaining the whole way through.
Before starring as Midge Maisel’s quirky father in Amazon Prime Video series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tony Shalhoub played another character with quirks in this comedy-drama. While it’s technically a police procedural, the series also takes a comedic tone at times. Adrian Monk (Shalhoub) is a detective who suffers a nervous breakdown following the suspicious death of his wife that also causes his symptoms relating to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to worsen. But he manages to return to work as a private detective, solving every case that comes across his desk. The series won eight Emmy Awards and broke viewership records.
Two and a Half Men
While the series hit a rough patch when a behind-the-scenes shake-up saw Ashton Kutcher take over the leading role from Charlie Sheen, it was, for some time, the most popular series on television and Sheen the highest-paid television actor. For the first eight seasons, Sheen starred as Charlie Harper, a womanizing bachelor living in a beach house and earning money off writing jingles for commercials. His life, however, was upended when his about-to-be-divorced younger brother Alan (Jon Cryer) showed up unexpectedly with his 10-year-old son Jake (Angus T. Jones) looking for a place to crash. And well, he never left. The chemistry among the three leads was unmatched, and while the storyline to integrate Kutcher’s character was odd, the series still captured viewers for another four seasons.
This new comedy series stars Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins as Fran and Jamie, two best friends and business partners in an interesting line of work: They kill people for a living. The two oddly stumbled into these murderous gig of contract kills and certainly don’t fit the stereotype. Early reviews suggest that the show’s dark absurdity combined with slapstick humor make it an enjoyable watch.