With a string of recent hits and acquisitions, Peacock has been making some impressive waves in unscripted television. If you’re searching for the perfect streaming platform for your next unscripted project, Peacock has proven that it might just be worth a look.

In this post, we’ll dig into the trends behind Peacock’s unscripted programming. We’ll evaluate some of the streamer’s recent hits, break down a few of its fresh acquisitions, and explore what the platform might be looking for next. 

Evaluating current Peacock hits

Launched by NBCUniversal back in 2020, Peacock’s initial strategy was to leverage popular NBC broadcast sitcoms like The Office to secure its own slice of the cord-cutting audience. Since then, however, the platform has been able to break out with its own original content and streaming acquisitions.

When it comes to unscripted series, Peacock has successfully established itself as a major player among its streaming peers. Peacock series are regular competitors on streaming ratings charts.

Today, Peacock is a major market for unscripted content, and savvy producers would do well to take note. To get an idea of Peacock’s programming preferences, we’re going to review three of the platform’s current unscripted hits. Let’s dive in.

1. The Traitors US

The Traitors US is the American adaptation of a competition show that originated in the Netherlands.

Hosted by Alan Cumming, each season of The Traitors US pits 20 contestants against one another in a competition similar to popular party games like Mafia or Werewolf. The group must accurately identify and banish the “Traitors” in their midst or risk forfeiting all their prize money at the end of the season.

The Traitors US deploys a clever celebrity casting strategy to draw its sizable audience. The first season’s competitors were drawn from a mixture of everyday citizens and reality TV stars. The second season doubled down the tactic, mixing reality stars and other public figures from outside the reality ecosystem. Proven reality talent like Survivor‘s Cirie Fields and Big Brother’s Dan Gheesling connect The Traitors US directly to the wider culture of unscripted fandom, while celebrities like Marcus Jordan and John Bercow attract a brand new audience. 

As a franchise, The Traitors has enjoyed enormous success all around the world. More seasons from the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand will be hitting Peacock soon

2. The Love Island Franchise

Love Island is a massively popular dating game show that debuted in the United Kingdom all the way back in 2005. Since then, the original series has spawned a variety of revival and spin-off programs.

The basic format of Love Island sees a group of contestants living together in an isolated island paradise. To survive the game, contestants must couple up with one another from week to week. The contestants who remain single are eliminated over time, and the last couple standing wins a cash prize. Episodes are rounded out by challenges, public votes, and more drama than you’d ever find on the mainland.

Peacock is the streaming home for several Love Island shows. The American revival – Love Island USAwas recently renewed for a sixth season with no signs of stopping. It joins other popular franchise entries Love Island Games and Love Island: All Stars, all heavy-hitters in Peacock’s unscripted lineup.

3. Next day streaming for Bravo unscripted content

Peacock remains the exclusive streaming home for Bravo’s unscripted hits. With the appropriate subscription, Peacock viewers can even stream new episodes of Bravo originals just one day after their initial airing.

For those unaware, Bravo’s unscripted roster includes mega-hits like Real Housewives of Atlanta, Summer House, and Vanderpump Rules. These and other shows from Bravo are perennial successes, scoring top ratings and plenty of online buzz season after season. 

Critically for Peacock, several of these series boast large and loyal fanbases. These communities ensure that Peacock will have a significant voice in the cultural conversation of unscripted TV for many seasons to come. 

Looking at recent Peacock pickups and renewals

Now that we have some idea of Peacock’s current slate of unscripted content, let’s take a look at how it will evolve in the near future. In this section, we’ll explore three notable programming announcements that recently came from the streamer. 

1. Love Undercover

Love Undercover is set to be the newest reality dating series on Peacock’s roster. The series challenges international soccer players to find love in the United States  without the help of their fame or fortune. Each player must shed their identity and go undercover in the pursuit of true romance. 

In a press release, Peacock described the upcoming show as “a modern-day fairytale meets buddy comedy.” Equal parts romantic wish fulfillment and relatable laughs, Love Undercover plays on a classic dramatic question in a uniquely contemporary way.   

2. The McBee Dynasty: Real American Cowboys

The McBee Dynasty: Real American Cowboys follows members of the eponymous McBee clan as they navigate the perils of running their family ranching business in rural Missouri. The cast is led by Steve McBee, the family patriarch, and filled out by his four sons and their romantic partners.

The upcoming series combines family drama with a behind-the-scenes view of the high-stakes ranching and farming industries. Each episode sees the cast navigate romance, succession, and hard decisions. Will the family farm turn into a billion-dollar business? Or will it face financial disaster? 

3. Queen’s Court, season 2

Queen’s Court is a reality dating competition that sees three celebrity queens “embark on the journey of a lifetime to find their King by dating 22 confident, successful men.”

Season one starred Tamar Braxton, Evelyn Lozada, and Nivea as the titular queens on their search for someone worthy of sharing their thrones.

The series’ format seeks to bring maturity to the well-trod path of reality dating competitions. With Peacock’s recent renewal of the series for its second season, the streamer has cast a clear vote of confidence in the show’s audience appeal. 

Understanding why Peacock is a streamer to target

Peacock is a rare bird among the other big-league streamers. It simultaneously boasts a solid establishment foundation with its NBCUniversal bona fides and positions itself as an independent up-and-comer. Recent successes suggest that Peacock’s unscripted star is still on the rise.

For example, according to Nielsen, The Traitors recently became the number one unscripted series in the United States across all streaming platforms. This high-water mark follows an Emmy win for Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program. 

It also commemorates the first time Peacock had two original series in the Nielsen top 10 originals list. (The other show was Ted, the comedic limited series from Seth McFarlane.)

However, Peacock’s success with The Traitors has not occurred in a vacuum. In the final quarter of 2023, Peacock surpassed Paramount+ for total catalog demand. That metric tracks demand for all movies and series available on a platform. In Peacock’s case, those numbers are boosted by impeccable programming for sports and unscripted entertainment.

The all-inclusive headline for this news is that Peacock is not only becoming a contender but is relying on unscripted series significantly to secure its position. For unscripted producers, Peacock should be considered a viable source of opportunity. 

With that in mind, let’s examine the trends demonstrated by Peacock’s recent programming and explore the types of projects they might be looking for next.

What will Peacock want next?

If we take a close look at the shows referenced above, we can decipher a few clear trends in Peacock’s programming over the last few years. In this section, we’ll make three distinct observations and dissect what they might suggest for the future of unscripted content on Peacock.

1. Peacock loves character-based competition series

It’s no secret that competition and dramatic personalities make for a potent combination in unscripted entertainment. From Survivor to The Bachelor, many of the biggest reality shows of all time have mined their success from pitting larger than life competitors against one another. 

Peacock’s recent hits and upcoming contenders suggest that this trend is alive and well. The Traitors US is a prime example, of course, but Love Island, Love Undercover, and even Queen’s Court contain some element of competition. 

Given the streamer’s recent success in the genre, there’s no reason to suspect that Peacock will stop programming big personalities or tough competitions anytime soon. 

2. Peacock loves celebrity programming

In feature films, the value of star power is always up for debate. In unscripted television, it seems like that debate has long been settled. A notable portion of Peacock’s unscripted series leverage the power of celebrity to draw fresh audiences. 

The prevalence of Bravo originals is an effective demonstration of this trend. Series like Vanderpump Rules specialize in the cultivation of reality royalty. Similarly, The Traitors’ casting combination of unscripted legends and public figures from outside reality TV culture could be described as a calculated maneuver to both leverage current stars and create new ones. Queens’ Court likewise uses recognizable celebrities to anchor its cast while also introducing fresh faces around which new fan bases can form.

The sheer variety of Peacock’s celebrity-based unscripted series is a telling sign. It suggests that the streamer recognizes the value of name recognition, but it is also open to new approaches in format.

3. Peacock loves love

A heavy undercurrent of dating and romance runs through Peacock’s unscripted slate.

With the exception of The Traitors, every other series mentioned in this post includes at least some focus on relationships. Even The McBee Dynasty – a show about modern cowboys – specifically highlights the romantic entanglements of its central cast as a key dramatic feature. 

This is a compelling clue for producers who might be looking to sell a project to Peacock. The streamer’s commitment to love is not pigeon-holed within a specific sub-genre. Peacock’s unscripted romance programming runs the full gamut of format types, from competitions to docuseries.

Wrapping up

Peacock’s unscripted lineup is still expanding, and we’re excited to see where it goes next. If you manage to sell the streamer your next big celebrity dating competition series, don’t hesitate to drop a special thanks for Wrapbook in the credits. 

The unscripted market represents a unique corner of the production industry. To learn more about it, check out Michelle Van Kempen’s guide to understanding the unscripted market or our free ebook on the art of unscripted collaboration.

Last Updated 
March 7, 2024


At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice.  You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.

About the author
Loring Weisenberger

Loring is a Los Angeles-based writer, director, and creative producer. His work has been commissioned by a diverse range of clients- from Havas Worldwide to Wisecrack, inc.- and has been screened around the world. Through a background that blends project development with physical production across multiple formats, Loring has developed a uniquely eclectic skillset as a visual storyteller.

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