The Best Sitcoms on Peacock

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The Best Sitcoms on Peacock

NBC has basically owned the network sitcom since the early ‘80s. Ever since Cheers premiered in 1982, NBC has pumped out smart, funny, well-produced sitcoms, leaving an indelible mark on the form and setting the standards for network comedy. So it’s no surprise that Peacock, NBC’s new-ish streaming service, is full of fantastic sitcoms. If you want to relive great comedies like Parks and Recreation, Scrubs, and 30 Rock, Peacock is the streamer for you.

Given the vagaries of the TV business, though, there are many classic NBC sitcoms you won’t find on Peacock, from ‘80s hits like Cheers, Family Ties and Night Court, to ‘90s juggernauts Friends and Seinfeld, and up through more modern shows like The Good Place and Great News. Even NBC stalwart Will & Grace, whose final reunion season was originally on Peacock, is no longer streaming there. Like any streamer, Peacock isn’t a one-and-done solution for anybody trying to recreate those days of Must See TV.

Peacock makes up for some of those absences with a grab-bag of iconic sitcoms from other networks. ABC’s Modern Family and Roseanne (both the original and the ill-fated one-season revival) are both on the service, as is CBS’s Everybody Loves Raymond. The entire run of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, from its original run on Fox to its current era on NBC, is streaming on here. And some great original sitcoms, both Peacock originals (Rutherford Falls, Killing It) and NBC/Peacock hybrids (A.P. Bio) are streamable through the service.

Peacock might not be the single best streaming service for sitcoms, but what it lacks in depth it more than makes up with quality. This list’s top 10 beats every streamer’s current sitcom lineup except maybe Hulu’s. So let’s get to the list, starting with one of the oldest shows on here.

20. The Munsters

Creators: Allan Burns, Chris Hayward
Stars: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Pat Priest
Original Network: CBS
Original Run: 1964-1966

Watch on Peacock

The lesser of the two monster family sitcoms of the ‘60s still has more than its fair share of charm. It’s still impressive how well Fred Gwynne makes the patently absurd role of “wise and warmly paternalistic Frankenstein” work, and Al Lewis’s Vaudeville schtick as the vampiric Grandpa somehow still holds up despite feeling like a direct portal back to the early 20th century. It’s a deeply silly show, something that will basically pass straight through your eyes and ears and be immediately forgotten, but you’ll have some truly goofy fun in the process.

19. Saved by the Bell

Creator: Sam Bobrick
Stars: Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Belmont Cameli, Dexter Darden, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen
Original Network: Peacock
Original Run: 2020-2022

Watch on Peacock

Sorry, old school Bellheads: we’re only talking about the recent revival here. The original show is on Peacock, but it holds no value for anybody who wasn’t a kid back when it originally aired; without that nostalgic lens it’s just a terribly written, poorly acted kids’ sitcom no better than the Saturday morning cartoons it once aired alongside. Last year’s reboot, though, is a smart, absurd, occasionally vicious satire of the affluent, lilywhite world of the original, with the privileged students of Bayside High making room for new transfers who are bussed in from a less wealthy neighborhood. It playfully riffs on the original throughout, with some of the original cast in tow, and occasionally bites down hard when needed. The focus is where it should be, though, on the new students, and the result is a surprisingly funny reboot that’s much better than the show that inspired it.

18. Everybody Loves Raymond

Creator: Philip Rosenthal
Stars: Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Madylin Sweeten, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle, Monica Horan
Original Network: CBS
Original Run: 1996-2005

Watch on Peacock

Here’s what consistency gets you. Everybody Loves Raymond is a fine, funny, perfectly competent family sitcom elevated by a fantastic cast (especially Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts) and a consistent level of quality. Ray Romano wasn’t yet the great character actor he’s grown into, but he was probably better at acting than fellow stand-up Jerry Seinfeld, albeit in a far more conventional sitcom. Raymond aired on CBS during its original run, and in a sense is the ideal version of the CBS sitcom of the ‘90s and ‘00s—a traditional, family-friendly sitcom that felt a little outdated when it launched, but had good writing and a good cast and thus sailed on peacefully for almost a full decade.

17. Rutherford Falls

Creator: Ed Helms, Michael Schur, Sierra Teller Ornelas
Stars: Ed Helms, Michael Greyeyes, Jana Schmieding, Jesse Leigh, Dustin Milligan
Original Network: Peacock
Original Run: 2021-2022

Watch on Peacock

One of the newest shows on the list is also one of Peacock’s best originals so far—as our review declared when it premiered last year. The latest Michael Schur sitcom, which was co-created by Navajo showrunner and veteran sitcom writer Sierra Teller Ornelas, has all of the hallmarks of his shows—witty banter, believable characters who largely interact with each other like real people, and a diverse cast built around a well-known white lead (in this case, Ed Helms). Helms is the nominal star, but Jana Schmieding is its true center, serving as both his best friend and cultural foil in a battle over how to best depict colonial and Indigenous history. With a large Indigenous writing staff and cast, Rutherford Falls breaks ground quietly, exploring how European settlers’ Indigenous genocide still has cultural and economic ramifications centuries later—but in a way that’s rarely heavy-handed, and always surrounded by the kind of likable comedy you expect from a Schur-produced show. It was one of the best new sitcoms of 2021, but sadly it’s already been cancelled after only two seasons.

16. Scrubs

Creator: Bill Lawrence
Stars: Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Neil Flynn, Ken Jenkins, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes
Original Networks: NBC, ABC
Original Run: 2001-2010

Watch on Peacock

J.D. and the gang gave a completely absurd (and yet often the most realistic) look into the world of hospitals. Each episode didn’t center around some outlandish disease that everyone thought was lupus, only to find out it was something else in the last five minutes of the show. Instead Scrubs was character-driven. It was consistently overlooked by the Emmy Awards, and viewership dwindled throughout the seasons. Still, the witty writing and off-beat characters deserved more. When NBC canceled the show, ABC was confident enough to pick it up for two more (laborious, unwatchable) seasons. But in its prime, it was one of the best sitcoms on TV.—Adam Vitcavage

15. A.P. Bio

Creator: Mike O’Brien
Stars: Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn, Jean Villepique, Paula Pell, Aparna Brielle, Nick Peine, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Eddie Leavy, Jacob Houston, Spence Moore II, Sari Arambulo, Elizabeth Alderfer
Original Network: NBC; Peacock (Season 3)
Original Run: 2018-

Watch on Peacock

A.P. Bio has quietly become one of the best sitcoms on TV today due to the strength of its ensemble. It’s in full display in an episode like “Wednesday Morning, 8 A.M,” where instead of juggling two or maybe three storylines like a typical sitcom episode, it presents a series of interconnected vignettes, each of which focuses on a different major or recurring character at Whitlock High. It gives the entire cast a chance to shine and also acts as a good introduction to pretty much every character on the show. It’s a modern-day “22 Short Films About Springfield,” but from a series that continues chugging along as TV’s most underrated sitcom.

14. Girls5Eva

Creator: Meredith Scardino
Stars: Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, Renée Elise Goldsberry
Original Network: Peacock
Original Run: 2021-2022; moving to Netflix for its third season.

Watch on Peacock

Between Girls5Eva and A.P. Bio, Paula Pell is the comedy queen of Peacock. The longtime SNL writer stars alongside Busy Philipps, Hamilton’s Renée Elise Goldsberry, and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles as the members of a minor girl group from the ‘90s mounting an improbable reunion in this sitcom from former Letterman, Colbert Report, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt writer Meredith Scardino. Adjacent to the world of Tina Fey’s sitcoms (she’s a producer and actually appears in the show as Dolly Parton), Girls5Eva has a similar feel to Schmidt or 30 Rock, but a slower pace, which works to its advantage. It’s a canny, clever look at pop culture in both the ‘90s and today, and a must-watch for comedy fans with Peacock subscriptions—or Netflix, as it was recently announced that it’s picked it up after Peacock cancelled the show shortly after its second season premiered.

13. Killing It

Creator: Dan Goor, Luke Del Tredici
Stars: Craig Robinson, Claudia O’Doherty, Rell Battle, Stephanie Nogueras, Scott MacArthur
Original Network: Peacock
Original Run: 2022-

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Killing It, the new Peacock sitcom from Dan Goor and Luke Del Tredici, might sound like a live action riff on The Simpsons’ Snake Whacking Day, but it’s actually based on a real competition in Florida to help reduce the state’s population of wild pythons. In a reverse of the sewer alligators of urban legend, Florida has a real problem with pythons bought as pets being released into the wild once they grow too large and unmanageable; without any natural predators, they’ve overrun the swampland and unsettled the state’s ecological balance. Enter Craig Robinson and Claudia O’Doherty as two well-meaning hunters struggling with debt and unemployment who see the prize money as the way to realize their dreams. If you’ve ever seen either actor before, you know how charming and hilarious they are, and they instantly establish the kind of chemistry every successful comedy needs. They’re joined by Scott MacArthur (of The Righteous Gemstones and The Mick) as an overly competitive YouTube hunting influencer also entering the contest, and stand-up comedian Rell Battle as Robinson’s criminal younger brother who hides his inner pain beneath an unflappable exterior. (Battle’s subplot as an assistant for a get-rich-quick hoaxster played by Tim Heidecker is one of the show’s highlights.)

As ridiculous as “the snake hunting sitcom with the guy from the Pizza Hut ads” might sound, Killing It quickly reveals a serious side in its exploration of class divisions, personal trauma, and economic disparity. It’s one of the few sitcoms I can think of that’s explicitly focused on how our financial system preys on the least fortunate and most at-risk among us, with the true life absurdity of a Florida python hunt as the jumping off point for that discussion. Many comedies with a message hammer on it with a heavy hand, but Killing It explores how difficult life can be for its characters without ever feeling like a lecture or sermon. It’s simply the world they live in and are accustomed to, the backdrop to all the jokes and character moments you expect from a sitcom, and the main reason Killing It is more than just a goofy comedy about killing snakes.

12. Good Times

Creator: Eric Monte and Mike Evans
Developer: Norman Lear
Stars: Esther Rolle, John Amos, Ja’net Dubois, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker, Bern Nadette Stanis, Johnny Brown, Janet Jackson, Ben Powers
Original Network: CBS
Original Run: 1974-1979

Watch on Peacock

Good Times is a tale of two shows. The first is a socially conscious sitcom about a poor but proud Black family living in public housing in Chicago, with Esther Rolle and John Amos playing the parents who struggle with underemployment or demeaning jobs while preserving their dignity. The second is a catchphrase comedy based around their oldest son, Jimmie Walker’s J.J., who, with his slogan “Dy-no-mite!” and exaggerated indolence, was essentially a stereotype. He was the show’s breakout character, though, its Fonz or Urkel, and came to dominate it after the first season—to the point that both Rolle and Amos left the show at different points, the latter permanently after the third season. There was still some sharp commentary and smart comedy in later seasons, but the first year is a classic Norman Lear sitcom with progressive politics and a strong viewpoint, while the rest of the show is basically just a goofy network sitcom.

11. Everybody Hates Chris

Creator: Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi
Stars: Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond, Imani Hakim, Vincent Martella
Original Network: UPN; The CW (Seasons 2-4)
Original Run: 2005-2009

Watch on Peacock

Chris Rock’s semi-autobiographical sitcom remains an underrated treat. Based on Rock’s teenage years, the ‘80s set comedy is a realistic and relatable look at one young man’s attempts to find himself while trying to fit in at school and at home. It’s not as blatantly, panderingly nostalgic as other sitcoms set in the past, and rarely as melodramatic as something like The Wonder Years. It’s a smart, well-written sitcom with a strong voice and setting, and great performances from Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, and more.

10. Modern Family

Creator: Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan
Stars: Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriguez, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Jeremy Maguire, Reid Ewing
Original Network: ABC
Original Run: 2009-2020

Watch on Peacock

Modern Family is a good warning about what happens when a show runs on for too long. Initially a refreshing combo of a traditional family sitcom and the kind of laugh track-free single camera comedy that came of age in the ‘00s, Modern Family launched with a talented cast and a sharp angle on how the concept of family had changed over the decades. If it had ended after six or seven seasons it would have a better reputation today. Instead it went on for 11 seasons in total, the kind of run that few sitcoms can bear. (Cheers and Frasier might be the only two to run that long and remain consistently good.) Still, even those later seasons had some great episodes, and the core cast—particularly Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill, and Julie Bowen—made it work without their characters devolving too deeply into cartoonish versions of themselves. Although it could be a bit tiresome and annoying at its worst, it was genuinely good for several seasons, and remained generally likable even during its long decline.

9. New Girl

Original Run: 2011-2018
Creator: Elizabeth Meriwether
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone
Original Network: Fox

Watch on Peacock

When New Girl started it was a sharp hang-out sitcom for the 21st century, updating the basic template of Friends into the modern day, but with a looser, more improvisational feel to the humor that makes it seem at least a bit less artificial. Like Friends, the show’s greatest strength is less the writing than the performances and chemistry of its cast—few shows can milk as much out of its characters lounging around a living room, or drunkenly playing a made-up game with no clear rules. Its best days might now be behind it, but they’ll live on through Peacock forever, or until the current rights agreement runs out.


8. Superstore

Creator: Justin Spitzer
Stars: America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nico Santos, Nichole Sakura, Mark McKinney, Kaliko Kauahi
Original Network: NBC
Original Run: 2015-2021

Watch on Peacock

Justin Spitzer’s sitcom would probably be considered an all-time classic if it aired during an era when a significant number of TV viewers still watched the broadcast networks. As is, it’s a very good show waiting to be discovered by anybody who missed its original run. This smart, warm comedy about a big box chain store took its influence from some of the same classic workplace comedies that inspired The Office, but never leaned quite as heavily into cringe comedy. The chemistry between its likable leads (America Ferrera and Ben Feldman) gave it a bit of that “Sam and Diane” energy, while comedy pros Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash and Colton Dunn gave it the comic charge it needed to run for six seasons.

7. Sanford and Son

Based on: Steptoe and Son by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Developed by: Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear
Stars: Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson
Original Network: NBC
Original Run: 1972-1977

Watch on Peacock

Although Sanford and Son was developed by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin as an adaptation of a British sit-com, there’s a bitterness and nihilism to the show that don’t appear in Lear’s other works, let alone other sitcoms from the ‘70s. Much of this comes from the brilliant Redd Foxx, who delivered an iconic performance as the titular Sanford, co-owner of a junk store. Really, though, the show was a two-hander, relying just as much on the underrated Demond Wilson, who played the progressive straight man to Foxx’s childish firebrand with perfect comedic timing. Yes, the laugh track is there, and Foxx’s language is disarmed so as to make it past network censorship, but despite the genre trappings, there was a realism to Sanford and Son that made it like nothing else on television at the time, and very little since.—Sean Gandert

6. Roseanne

Creator: Matt Williams, Roseanne Barr, Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner
Stars: Roseanne, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman, Lecy Goranson, Natalie West, Sarah Chalke, Emma Kenney
Original Network: ABC
Original Run: 1989-1997; 2018

Watch on Peacock

Before she permanently nuked her reputation and career through her unhinged social media, Roseanne (formerly Barr, formerly Arnold) was the star of the best ‘80s and ‘90s sitcom about working class America. The blue collar milieu wasn’t laid on too thick, but was always present within the show, at a time when the disparity between the haves and have-nots grew exponentially. Much of the show’s success can be credited to John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, two world class actors who are as adept at comedy as they are drama—a skill that’s vital for a sitcom that regularly turned melodramatic. A testament to how strong the show’s cast and concept was: when it was revived 20 years after its initial cancellation, it became one of the most popular shows on TV again, and has continued on for multiple seasons after the firing of its former star.

5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Creator: Dan Goor, Michael Schur
Stars: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Andre Braugher, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller
Original Network: Fox (seasons 1 to 5); NBC (seasons 6 to 8)
Original Run: 2013-

Watch on Peacock

Dan Goor and Michael Schur’s police comedy has maybe been shaded a little by real-life events—it is understandably hard for many to view cops as a funny group of good-time buddies, even when they’re played by such an amazing cast. If you can overlook the politics, though, you’ll find a sitcom that brilliantly combines the MTM Studios approach to ensemble comedies with unfettered cartoon silliness. This whole list is full of amazing casts, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s core of Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Terry Crews, Joe Lo Truglio and Chelsea Peretti might be the single best one on the list. Every actor has a defined, unique role that they play to perfection, and that contrasts beautifully with every other actor. This isn’t the best sitcom in the Schur-verse, but it might be the most consistent, and the most immediately likable.

4. The Office

Based on: The Office by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
Developed by: Greg Daniels
Stars: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling, Phil Lieberstein, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Ed Helms, Ellie Kemper, Zach Woods, Amy Ryan, James Spader, Catherine Tate
Original Network: NBC
Original Run: 2005-2013

Watch on Peacock

At its peak, the US version of The Office could be the best show on this entire list. Seasons two through six or so comprise one of the genuinely great sitcom runs, a body of work up there with the best of Seinfeld or The Simpsons. It had a weak start, and became a sad parody of itself over its last few seasons, but during that sweet spot The Office was both hilarious and able to wring genuine emotion out of Michael Scott’s insecurities and Jim and Pam’s relationship. And in terms of sheer size and consistency, it might have had the best extended cast of any sitcom. It might not have the precision or laser focus of the original, but that’s the difference between American and British TV.

3. Parks and Recreation

Creator: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Stars: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Retta, Jim O’Heir, Billy Eichner, Paul Schneider
Original Network: NBC
Original Run: 2009-2015

Watch on Peacock

After a short, shaky first season as a too-familiar Office protege, Parks & Rec quickly adjusted into one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. When you talk about the classic sitcom casts, where every actor was perfect for the role, and every role was equally important, Parks & Rec has to be near the top of the list. With equally strong writing and the most fully developed sitcom town this side of Springfield, Parks & Rec was the ideal sitcom during its six year run.

2. The Dick Van Dyke Show

Creator: Carl Reiner
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Larry Matthews, Richard Deacon
Original Network: CBS
Original Run: 1961-1966

Watch on Peacock

Before Dick Van Dyke became the toast of Disney live-action films and the star of every senior citizen’s favorite crime procedural Diagnosis: Murder, he was the titular star of this fantastic sitcom. The classic half-hour gave viewers two shows in one: a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a TV variety show and a warm-hearted family comedy. The former allowed for plenty of sharp dialogue and fast-paced jokes courtesy of show creator Carl Reiner and co-stars Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie, all playing comedy writers. The latter took full advantage of the winning chemistry between Van Dyke and former dancer and TV bit player Mary Tyler Moore.—Robert Ham

1. 30 Rock

Creator: Tina Fey
Stars: Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander, Alec Baldwin
Original Network: NBC
Original Run: 2006-2013

Watch on Peacock

30 Rock sums up the risks and rewards of a joke-a-second comedy: when the writers were on, this live-action cartoon was one of the funniest shows in TV history. When they were off, it could be almost cringe-worthy. Fortunately Tina Fey and co.’s batting average was pretty high for most of the show’s run, and even when the material was a little weak, a stellar cast of comedians and actors (Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Alec Baldwin, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, and more) could often make it work. Like The Simpsons, you can basically queue up any episode of 30 Rock and find something to laugh at; unlike The Simpsons, it had the good sense to wrap after only seven seasons.

Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s also on Twitter @grmartin.

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