Peacock Chief Floats ‘The Office’ Spinoff Show
Peacock has had a star-crossed journey so far. Its debut was supposed to be timed to coincide with the 2020 Olympics, but the coronavirus left the streaming service without one of its primary draws. Last week, Peacock absorbed the WWE Network, hoping that wrestling will bring in more subscribers. But a tidbit from today’s One21 Conference suggests Peacock may be ready to capitalize on its biggest hit.
(Even pre-Peacock, NBCU execs have talked openly about their desire for something new in the OCU. Given how streamers have become addicted to reboots, spin-offs and continuations, I think the real surprise would be if Peacock ends up doing nothing new with the IP.)— TVMoJoe (@TVMoJoe) March 22, 2021
It’s no secret that “The Office” has been Peacock’s biggest ace. In fact, its acquisition drove more sign-ups than the service launch itself.
Peacock earned more paid Sign-ups around the arrival of ‘The Office’ than it did for its nationwide launch, or any other programming event.— ANTENNA (@AntennaData) February 22, 2021
The service also saw a 9 percentage point uptick in customers choosing the ad-free Premium Plus plan pic.twitter.com/OldXU8vP9T
Reboots and spin-offs are nothing new to streaming services, but their success often depends on the strength of the existing IP. Netflix rebooted “One Day at a Time,” but canceled it, presumably because of low viewership. “Fuller House” was a bigger hit, racking up five seasons for Netflix. Peacock tried something similar with the updated “Saved By The Bell” launch. But Disney+ smashed it out of the park with the Star Wars adventures of “The Mandalorian” and the Marvel spin-offs, “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
It’s notable that the biggest streaming spin-off hits are science fiction or adventure-based. A series loaded with special effects will draw die-hard fans of the genre. Comedies are trickier beasts. So much depends on casting, writing, and creative direction. You’re more likely to end up with a “Mayberry RFD” than a “Frasier.”
Also worth noting, NBC nearly canceled “The Office,” during its first season, but held off because its episodes were selling so well on the iTunes Store. So it’s ironic that streaming video saved “The Office” and now “The Office” may save NBC’s streaming service.
In any case, Peacock is pulling out all the stops to pull in new subscribers. You can stream all of “The Office” for free until March 24, and you can get half-off your first four months with Peacock thanks to a WWE promotion than ends April 9.
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