Corus to air NBC streamer’s original shows, including ‘Saved by the Bell’ reboot

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TORONTO — Corus Entertainment will be the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of original programming on NBCUniversal’s streaming platform Peacock.

The company announced the agreement Tuesday while unveiling its 2020-2021 fall/winter lineup.

The deal will see Peacock’s star-studded slate of original shows, including revivals of “Punky Brewster” and “Saved by the Bell,” air across Corus networks and streaming platforms.

The American streamer’s new series include “Girls5eva” from Tina Fey and “Rutherford Falls,” a comedy set in a New York town that borders an Indigenous reserve, created by Sierra Teller Ornelas alongside “The Office” alumni Ed Helms and Mike Schur.

Global’s fall primetime lineup will see the debut of much-anticipated series such as “Departure,” a Canada/U.K. co-production starring Emmy winner Archie Panjabi and Canadian Oscar winner Christopher Plummer, a CBS remake of “The Equalizer” featuring Queen Latifah and American sci-fi drama “neXt” with “Mad Men” actor John Slattery.

A Corus executive says the company decided to push several shows on this spring’s schedule to fall because of production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Troy Reeb, executive vice-president of broadcast networks, says some reality TV shows have been in production limbo during lockdown, including “Big Brother Canada,” whose last season was cut short when the outbreak hit in March.

He said producers haven’t made a call about whether it will be safe to bring back the housebound competition this year, but the show is a “priority program” for Global.

While the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the TV industry remain to be seen, Reeb said he’s optimistic that the industry will find new ways to entertain viewers, and perhaps provide an escape from the troubled state of the world.

“There’s been a surge in television viewing overall. I think it has made people rekindle their love for television, maybe a forced relationship, in some cases,” Reeb said by phone.

“But it allowed … Canadians to discover new shows that they may not have seen otherwise. And I think, long term, us and other broadcasters will benefit from that.”