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NBC's Peacock lineup includes Mindy Kaling, Norman Lear and 'MacGruber'

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

NBCUniversal is only revealing core details of its Peacock streaming service today, but that isn't stopping it from thinking about the project's long-term future. It just outlined a string of shows that will come sometime after the April launch, many of them from very familiar names. Mindy Kaling is executive co-producing Expecting, a story of a woman who enlists a gay friend to be a sperm donor and suddenly finds herself crafting a biological family. And fans of MacGruber can rejoice. Will Forte is producing and starring in a revival series that has the titular hero confronting his old villain Enos Queeth... or at least, he thinks so.

Other shows? Amy Poehler is executive co-producing the soccer coming-of-age comedy Division One. Norman Lear will help executive produce Clean Slate, the story of an estranged child coming home as a trans woman (played by Laverne Cox). If you're more interested in non-fiction, veteran writer and journalist Nick Bilton is producing a series of tech-companies-gone-bad stories that include an adaptation of his book Hatching Twitter. The McElroy brothers are also getting another shot at an NBC streaming show with an animated series based on their The Adventure Zone podcast.

None of these titles have release schedules, although it's safe to presume they'll miss Peacock's April debut.

It's not a terribly shocking strategy. Like many services, NBC is banking on familiar names and genres while allowing itself a little room to explore topics it might not cover on conventional TV. The question is whether or not that will be enough. Peacock will have to compete for the attention spans (never mind money) of people who, in many cases, are already committed to watching shows from a variety of services. As big as NBC might be, it'll still have to create stand-out streaming productions if it's going to rake in viewers.