Hollywood news banter: Peacock prepares for launch, CBS fires showrunner Peter Lenkov

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NBC’s streaming service Peacock launches on July 15. The basic, ad-supported version of Peacock is free. Photo courtesy of NBC.

NBC is preparing to launch its new streaming service Peacock on July 15. A slate of shows and movies will be aimed at casual viewers. The network hopes to differentiate itself in the crowded market by offering a free option supported by advertising.

Upon launching, the streaming service will host many of NBC’s most popular shows, including “30 Rock,” “Law and Order,” and “Saturday Night Live.” The network will later add other popular NBC shows, including “The Office.”

With Peacock, NBC hopes to carve out a niche in the streaming market. The basic service will be free, with a limited catalog and no more than five minutes of ads for an hour of TV. The service will have a premium option with a wider catalog, priced at $4.99 per month with ads, and $9.99 per month with no ads.

Meanwhile, CBS has fired Peter Lenkov, one of its top showrunners, after an investigation into claims that he fostered a toxic work environment. Several former employees said that he mistreated his writers, including women and people of color. Lenkov allegedly favored male staff members and ran a “boys’ club,” where he and his employees gathered to smoke cigars and evaluate women’s appearances. 

As one insider told the Hollywood Reporter, “He's anti-woman, anti-POC, anti-gay, and everything you'd expect. But he'd also torture straight white men if he felt like it.”

Lenkov was the head of CBS’ reboots of “Hawaii Five-0,” “MacGyver” and “Magnum P.I.” He is the latest high-profile man to be fired for abusive behavior. This follows sexual misconduct allegations against “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager, “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose, and CEO Leslie Moonves.

Credits

Guest:
Matthew Belloni - Hollywood Reporter - @MattBelloni

Host:
Kim Masters

Producer:
Kaitlin Parker