Peacock has announced a direct-to-series order for Field of Dreams, an adaptation of the 1989 baseball movie tearjerker starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones and Ray Liota.
The original Field of Dreams producer, Lawrence Gordon, is listed in the topline credits. But writing the series will be one of the hottest TV creatives in the biz, Michael Schur, whose string of recent hits includes The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Rutherford Falls and Hacks.
NBCUniversal could use a hit for its 13-month-old streaming service, which registered only 20 million active users as of the end of Q2. The Tokyo Olympics undoubtedly increased usage of the Peacock platform. And parent company Comcast will soon deploy Peacock in Western Europe through its Sky satellite TV operation, further helping the usage numbers.
But Peacock is still in dire need of scale, along water-cooler hits--think HBO Max's The White Lotus, Mair of Easttown and Hacks--and all those MCU limited series on Disney Plus. What original hits has Peacock had?
More than two decades after its theatrical premiere, Field of Dreams is hot, evidenced by Major League Baseball's little promotional stunt, in which a game last week between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox was played on a purpose-built venue, next to a cornfield, in Dyersville, Iowa.
That game drew 5.9 million viewers for Fox, yielding the network's best regular season MLB ratings in 16 years.
“Through the years, Field of Dreams has remained a fan favorite, maintaining its rightful position in the zeitgeist,” said Lisa Katz, president of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement. “It’s whimsical and grounded, a space where Mike Schur excels, and we’re looking forward to bringing a new version of this classic to Peacock.”
Added Erin Underhill, president of Universal Television: “Field of Dreams is an iconic Universal Film title from venerable producers Lawrence and Charles Gordon, that we could only have entrusted to Mike Schur. His talent, his love for baseball and his reverence for its themes make him the perfect choice to revisit this beloved film that evokes nostalgia and visceral emotion in so many of its fans.”
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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