This July, NBCUniversal and Comcast will launch a new streaming service, Peacock. (Xfinity cable customers will get an advanced version in April.) It will house NBC classics like Parks and Recreation, Frasier, and Law and Order: SVU, as well as a wide array of movies, reality shows, and current programming, including live events from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. It will offer reboots of nostalgia-triggering shows like Saved by the Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. And of course, as there are now a ton of streaming television services competing for eyeballs in the US, NBC is also planning to roll out an ambitious lineup of originals to compete with rivals like Disney+, CBS All Access, and Quibi.
To that end, it has ordered dozens of pilots and several full seasons of new shows to lure viewers into adding yet another paid subscription into their monthly budget. (There will be a free version of Peacock, but it will have a limited roster.) Some of the shows sound great. Some of the shows sound questionable. A large number have summaries that sound like they came from a robot programmed to spit out Hollywood development Mad Libs. And thus, a challenge: Can you tell the difference between the 100 percent real upcoming Peacock offerings and the 100 percent fake shows WIRED made up? Let’s find out.
- Expecting: One woman. One gay best friend. One … baby? From Mindy Kaling, this comedy looks at what happens when your GBF becomes your GSD (gay sperm donor).
- Brave New World: An adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s famed 1932 dystopian novel, starring Alden Ehrenreich for some reason.
- The Adventure Zone: A comedy based on a wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons podcast run by a tight-knit but quirky family.
- Clean Slate: A comedy about an Alabama car wash owner who is thrilled when his long-lost child decides to return home, but is flummoxed when he finds out his child is a trans woman, played by Laverne Cox. (Executive producer: Norman Lear.)
- Moby-Dick: An animated dramedy based on the classic novel, with Chris Kattan as the titular whale. Three words: Female Captain Ahab.
- The Brothers Bongo: Two brothers find unexpected fame as a bongo drumming duo. Turns out success is easy, but keeping the rhythm of family life on the road? That’s tough. With Topher Grace as the boys’ manager.
- Making It Work: Christina Aguilera in her first lead television role—and her second, as she plays identical twins who inherit a bed and breakfast in Louisiana.
- Hatching Twitter: Literally a television show about Twitter.
- Girls5Eva: Former ‘90s girl group Girls5Eva decide to reunite and give teenybopper stardom one last shot … even though they’re closer to menopause than puberty!
- Pod Save This TV Show: Based on the podcast of the same name, the Pod Save America boys host a humorous but insightful talk show.
- Dr. Death: Based on the podcast of the same name, Jamie Dornan smolders as a doctor who is bad at his job—lethally bad.
- Intelligence: David Schwimmer stars as a brash maverick NSA agent who moves to England and clashes with his dweeby British colleagues.
- Becker 2: Back to Beckin’: Ted Danson reprises his role as Becker from Becker, who is up to his old tricks.
- Psych 2: Lassie Come Home: The gang from the show Psych are back, and this time they will explore the topic of marriage in a made-for-television movie.
- Law and Order: Oz The latest addition to the Dick Wolf library, Law and Order: Oz sees a familiar face, Finn (Ice-T), begin a new chapter of his career in Sydney, Australia. They do things a little differently Down Under!
Answers: 1: Real, 2: Real, 3: Real, 4: Real, 5: Fake, 6: Fake, 7: Fake, 8: Real, 9: Real, 10: Fake, 11: Real, 12: Real, 13: Fake, 14: Real, 15: Fake.
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