This post is updated frequently as TV shows leave and enter Peacock. *New additions are indicated with an asterisk.
When Universal jumped into the streaming game in 2020, right as the pandemic was locking people into their devices, they boasted one of the strongest TV line-ups in the game, buoyed by decades of NBC programming and a few interesting originals. They’ve arguably lagged in the latter department, but 2023 has been promising for Peacock with the premiere of buzz-worthy hits Poker Face and The Traitors. They’re on here, of course, along with 28 other shows to dominate your free time.
This Month’s Critic’s Pick
Length: 1 season, 4 episodes
Creators: William D. Wittliff, Simon Wincer
There was a time, young readers, when a network mini-series could set the world on fire. Such was the case with this masterful CBS adaptation of the hit novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry, with a script written by the author and the great Peter Bogdanovich. A stunning ensemble that includes Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane, and Anjelica Huston lead a Western that was so acclaimed that it won seven Emmys.
Creators (Chicago Fire): Derek Haas, Michael Brandt
All three of the currently running NBC series about crisis units in the Windy City are on Peacock – Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago P.D. Case-of-the-week shows like this are often derided by critics but the industry that drives these shows is actually pretty impressive, producing elaborate disaster mini-movies every week. And they’re incredibly, consistently popular for a reason. The first, Fire, is still the best.
A Friend of the Family
Length: 1 season, 9 episodes
Creator: Nick Antosca
Did you watch the crazy true crime doc Abducted in Plain Sight over on Netflix? Then you know the insane saga behind this remarkable mini-series that turns that true story into a riveting drama. Jake Lacy is excellent as Robert Berchtold, a monster before people really knew not to trust their neighbors. In an ordinary suburb in the mid-‘70s, Berchtold found a way to kidnap his neighbor Jan (Hendrix Yancey and later Mckenna Grace) twice. It’s a story that’s hard to believe, but it’s all true.
A Friend of the Family
Length: 1 season, 7 episodes
Creator: Arika Mittman
They don’t really make new procedurals anymore — which is why people turn to shows like Suits on Netflix — but there’s actually a decent one unfolding now on NBC. It got derailed by the strike, but seven episodes are available, and it’s done well enough that it will probably continue now that things are up and running again in Hollywood. Law & Order vet Jesse L. Martin stars as Alec Mercer, a behavioral psychology professor who uses his insight to help solve cases. It’s not breaking the mold, but it fits nicely in it.
Law & Order
Creator: Dick Wolf
What would a streaming service from NBC be without its tentpole franchise, the Dick Wolf juggernauts that have been on most of our lives? The collection right now isn’t exactly complete— you can watch every single episode of Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit, but you’ll have to start the original series at season 13 for some reason. That’s still a whole lot of ripped-from-the-headlines crime solving for one streaming service.
Law & Order
Length: 1 season, 10 episodes
Creator: Rian Johnson
The writer/director of Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought his skill to TV in his smash-hit mystery-of-the-week series that recasts the Columbo template with Natasha Lyonne. The star of Russian Doll plays Charlie Cale, a human lie detector on the run from a shady casino enforcer (Benjamin Bratt). Every episode drops her into a different murder mystery with a great revolving door of guest stars that includes Adrien Brody, Judith Light, Tim Meadows, Nick Nolte, and many more.
Length: 8 seasons, 125 episodes
Creator: Andy Breckman
One of the biggest cable hits of all time is returning in December 2023 with a Peacock original film called Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie. Use this final chapter in the saga of Adrian Monk to revisit some of the highlights in the 8-season run of this undeniably entertaining mystery of the week show, a program that crafted some clever mysteries but really worked because of the commitment of the great Tony Shalhoub, who won three Lead Actor Emmys for his defining role.
Length: 9 seasons, 134 episodes
Creator: Aaron Korsh
Do you think the powers that be at Peacock were annoyed when Suits became a surprise smash over at Netflix given it’s been on their streaming service all along? Why did so many people find their way to this USA Network drama (other than the casting of Princess Meghan)? Because it’s an easy-to-watch show in a hard world, a program that makes the time go by as the story of a man with perfect memory (Patrick J. Adams) who ends up working with a high-powered attorney (Gabriel Macht). It’s not an all-timer, but it doesn’t have to be to entertain.
Length: 5 seasons, 47 episodes
Creators: Taylor Sheridan, John Linson
This Kevin Costner Western slowly became one of the biggest shows on television. Starting life on the Paramount Network, it now airs original episodes on Paramount+, but the catalog of its first four seasons remains on Peacock—TV rights are weird. Yellowstone has grown to become a legitimate franchise with four spin-offs—1883 and 1923 are over on Paramount+ and 6666 and 1944 are in development. They love their numbers.
Horror, Sci-fi, and Fantasy
Length: 1 season, 8 episodes
Creators: Tara Hernandez, Damon Lindelof
The creator of The Leftovers and Watchmen teams with one of the writers of The Big Bang Theory for this truly original show about religion, mythology, and artificial intelligence. Betty Gilpin rocks as a nun named Sister Simone, who basically finds herself tasked with a quest that will end with the destruction of a powerful Siri-esque A.I. named Mrs. Davis. As you can imagine, it’s surreal, funny, and sometimes brilliant.
Years: 1987-2002, 2008-2010
Length: 16 seasons, 602 episodes
Creators: John Cosgrove, Terry Dunn Meurer
Netflix may have the reboot, but Peacock has the archive, dozens of hours of serial killers, UFO sightings, and paranormal phenomena. These are the Robert Stack-hosted originals, the show that broke new ground in terms of viewer involvement through tips and some of the most unforgettably cheesy crime re-creations ever produced. Note: They also have the Dennis Farina version that aired on Lifetime for the completists out there.
Length: 7 seasons, 139 episodes
Creator: Tina Fey
Tina Fey turned her experience on Saturday Night Live into one of the most critically acclaimed comedies of all time. How much did people love 30 Rock? It was nominated for the Emmy for Best Comedy for all seven seasons that it ran, winning three of them. Its legacy has been a little controversial recently, but it remains one of the sharpest shows on network TV of the modern era.
Length: 4 seasons, 42 episodes
Creator: Mike O’Brien
Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) plays a disgraced professor sent to return to Toledo and teach a class in a place he doesn’t really want to be in this surprisingly funny comedy that’s already had a rocky run. After two low-rated seasons on NBC proper, it was canceled, but then the company announced that a third season would premiere on Peacock in September 2020.
Length: 2 seasons, 19 episodes
Creator: Justin Spitzer
The brilliant creator of Superstore (and once a writer on The Office) took his skill with workplace comedies to Detroit when that excellent comedy went off the air. Ana Gasteyer stars as the new CEO of a Motor City car manufacturer, but this is again a show that plays to Spitzer’s strength with ensembles, including funny turns from Harriet Dyer, Tye White, and Jon Barinholtz, among others. It’s still struggling to find an audience on NBC (with new episodes dropping here on Peacock the next day) but it deserves one.
Length: 8 seasons, 153 episodes
Creators: Dan Goor, Michael Schur
What were you thinking, FOX? After canceling this beloved comedy, Jake Peralta and the 9-9 jumped over to NBC, where it now looks like they could air for years. This is another comedy that started off on shaky ground but became one of the best ensemble comedies after about a year or two. It’s now as consistently funny as anything on network TV. Prediction: You know how everyone watched The Office over and over again on Netflix (before it jumped to Peacock)? This show will be like that in about a decade.
Everybody Loves Raymond
Length: 9 seasons, 210 episodes
Creator: Philip Rosenthal
One of the best sitcoms of all time, the CBS juggernaut remains hysterical, and Peacock is now the exclusive streaming home of the Barone family. The ensemble here is so strong from top to bottom, but revisit it now for the timing of Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts as Ray’s parents. They make every single joke funnier than it is on the page.
Everybody Loves Raymond
Length: 2 seasons, 16 episodes
Creator: Meredith Scardino
One of the funniest shows on TV is about to pull a weird trick and jump from Peacock to Netflix after the former canceled it after two seasons. For now, catch up with the saga of a girl group who reunites two decades after their chart success to try and capture fame again. Sara Bareilles, Paula Pell, and Busy Philipps are great, but it’s Renee Elise Goldsberry who gives one of the best comedy performances on TV here.
The Kids in the Hall
Length: 5 seasons, 101 episodes
Starting life on the CBC in Canada in the late ‘80s, The Kids in the Hall would become one of the most beloved sketch comedy shows of all time. It holds up stunningly well three decades later, ahead of its time in terms of humor, representation, and general surreal insanity. The fact is that Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson are just incredibly, hysterically smart, and their genius comes through in every episode.
The Kids in the Hall
Length: 9 seasons, 215 episodes
Creators: Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline
The most underrated family sitcom of the 2010s was this ABC series that starred Patricia Heaton as the matriarch of an average family in the Midwest who just tries to hold things together from day to day. Scrubs star Neil Flynn plays her husband with Atticus Shaffer, Charlie McDermott, and Eden Sher play the three Heck children in a show that’s equally heartfelt and humorous, anchored by characters who feel more genuine than this genre typically allows.
Length: 11 seasons, 250 episodes
Creators: Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan
Critics may not agree, but this is arguably the biggest comedy of the 2010s. It was a massive hit for ABC, especially for the first half of its run, in which it appeared in the top ten constantly and won 22 Emmys on the back of dozens of nominations. In fact, it won Best Comedy for its first five seasons with three of its performers—Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen—taking home multiple awards themselves. It’s a major chapter of TV comedy history that holds up for at least the first half of its run.
Length: 9 seasons, 201 episodes
Creator: Greg Daniels
In 2020, Peacock paid a fortune to get exclusive rights to what was then one of the biggest comedies on Netflix, and it reportedly helped drive subscribers. People simply love the comedy of Dunder Mifflin and rewatch this show as much as anything else on TV. It feels like it’s always on Comedy Central or Freeform nowadays, but with Peacock, you can find your favorites to rewatch whenever you want.
Parks and Recreation
Length: 7 seasons, 125 episodes
Creators: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Sitcom television doesn’t get much better than Parks and Recreation, an NBC critical darling that took a little time to find its footing but became a modern classic by the third season. The writing on the show is as sharp as it gets, amplified by a fantastic ensemble led by Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, the immensely likable head of the Pawnee Parks Department. Poehler rules, but everyone here makes a mark, including Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, and Aziz Ansari. As of now, the show that was once everywhere in the streaming world has settled in on Peacock as an exclusive home.
Parks and Recreation
Years: 2006-2014 (plus specials after)
Length: 8 seasons, 120 episodes
Creator: Steve Franks
James Roday Rodriguez stars in this USA hit as Shawn Spencer, a crime consultant who is so attuned to details that he can pretend to be psychic. A clever, modern riff on Sherlock Holmes, another detective who was simply more observant than anyone else, Psych has a massive following, one so loyal to the show that it’s led to two follow-up films, including one that premiered with the launch of Peacock: Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.
Length: 2 seasons, 18 episodes
Creators: Ed Helms, Michael Schur, Sierra Teller Ornelas
Ed Helms stars in this smart original comedy about a man who struggles when the major of Rutherford Falls announces that he plans to move a statue of his ancestor, the town’s founder. A clever commentary on history and privilege, it features great turns from Jana Schmieding and especially Michael Greyeyes. Sadly, it was canceled after only two seasons.
Saturday Night Live
Length: 48 seasons, 945 episodes
Creator: Lorne Michaels
It’s almost all on there, finally. When Peacock launched, one of the draws was the potential of reliving comedy history through the most influential sketch comedy series of all time, but they only had best-of collections at first. Now, there are dozens of episodes from the five decades of the NBC late-night hit. It’s like a lesson in comedy history, watching how the sense of humor of the nation changed from the ‘70s through to the 2020s.
Saturday Night Live
Length: 6 seasons, 113 episodes
Creator: Justin Spitzer
The fact that no one watches network TV as much as they used to had this NBC Thursday night comedy slide further under the radar than it deserved. Not only was Superstore one of the funniest shows on TV, anywhere, but it became a smart commentary on class inequality. If this aired in the era of The Office, it would have been huge. Hopefully, life on streaming services like Peacock will get it the attention it merits now that it’s completed its consistently excellent run.
We Are Lady Parts
Length: 1 season, 6 episodes
Creator: Nida Manzoor
Manzoor’s series might be the best comedy you probably haven’t seen. Anjana Vasan stars in the tale of an all-female Muslim punk band in the U.K. It started life as a Channel 4 pilot in its home country in 2018, expanded into a series in 2021 and exported to Peacock. It’s a moving, rich, character-driven piece about being yourself, even when your culture and your country doesn’t support you.
We Are Lady Parts
Length: 20 seasons, 251 episodes
Creator: Eli Holzman
When the book is written on the prevalence of reality TV in the 2000s and the emergence of Bravo as a major player, this show will get its own chapter. Now running for 20 seasons, Project Runway may not have the cultural impact that it once did, but its fan base remains loyal and its impact on the industry—both TV and fashion—can’t be underestimated.
Length: 20 seasons, 289 episodes
Maybe the best reality competition show of all time, this Bravo original is exclusively on Peacock, where they’re also airing new episodes of the 20th all-star season the day after they air. Top Chef works so well because of how much it values skill, creativity, and passion. The winners of Top Chef have gone on to change the culinary world. And now you can watch their origin stories over hours of great reality TV.
Length: 1 season, 11 episodes
Creators: Lee Gant, Christine Rose
The biggest new reality TV hit of 2023 so far is this gem of a competition show with a delightful hosting job by Alan Cumming. He guides a fascinating array of reality TV stars from shows like Below Deck, Survivor, and Big Brother through a game with a simple premise—three of them are traitors. Can the contestants figure out who’s stabbing them in the back before they all end up eliminated? It’s a smartly crafted, fun show.
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Brian Tallerico , 2023-11-21 02:00:00