17 Shows That Will Never Be On Netflix (But Should Be)

While it might feel like Netflix has no boundaries, that’s not exactly the case. Although it might seem like the streaming service is the home of everything you want to watch, there’s a lot of red tape when it comes to acquiring a show.

Netflix has to pay certain amounts and go through plenty of legal negotiations before a show can be allowed onto their streaming service.

Furthermore, just because a show is accessible in one country, doesn’t mean it’s available to watch in the United States. For example, a show might be available to watch through Netflix in Canada, but for viewers in the United States, the show simply isn’t there.

Due to a numerous amount of issues, there are some shows that will most likely never be available to stream on Netflix. Netflix now has even more competitors than ever before. Plus, the company has been more focused on their own original content more so than paying for major shows coming from other places.

The game has changed in the past few years, which means there are just some shows that Netflix will never be able to acquire, no matter how much viewers wish they did.

With that said, here are the 17 Shows That Will Never Be On Netflix (But Should Be).

17 The Simpsons

Fox and Netflix once had a pretty solid relationship, but tensions have been pretty high as of late. Now that Disney owns Fox per the deal that Disney and Fox made, there’s no chance that the show will ever come to Netflix without some major convincing.

There are plenty of episodes of The Simpsons to stream. It would be a pretty great grab for Netflix which is known to encourage avid binge-watching. The Simpsons has been around since 1989. There are over 600 episodes with even more to come.

It would be the perfect fit for Netflix. However, it’s just not in the cards.

The Simpsons was a difficult show to grab even before the Fox/Disney deal happened. Hulu has recent episodes of the show available to stream, but not any of the older seasons. It just goes to show that The Simpsons and Netflix just aren’t meant to be.

16 The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory might be coming to an end soon, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a loyal fanbase. In fact, it’s such a watched show that it’s strange that Netflix wouldn’t want to profit from that.

While you might be able to rent the DVDs of the show from Netflix, it’s still not available to stream. This is because CBS is holding on tightly to their most successful show.

Not only does The Big Bang Theory do well on CBS, but older repeat episodes do great on other networks too. CBS also has their own streaming service. Giving away this specific show would make people less inclined to get CBS All Access.

While The Big Bang Theory would be a highly watched show on Netflix, there’s just no way that CBS will let go of this one.

15 This Is Us

This Is Us Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia

This Is Us has become one of the most talked about shows recently. Every episode includes a surprise and fans love figuring out how everything is connected. It would be great if Netflix could obtain this show, but it’s unfortunately never going to happen, at least not without some discussion between NBC and Hulu.

NBC has put its money on Hulu, not Netflix, though. Therefore, Hulu gets the rights to the show. This doesn’t mean that Netflix didn’t want it though.

In fact, Netflix tried to obtain the show early on, but they just couldn’t come to an agreement.

While Netflix might want America’s current favorite family television show, it’s just not in the stars. There is some major red tape that they would have to get through to make this one happen.

14 Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis Dreyfus, and Michael Richards in Seinfeld

This one is a tricky one because Netflix recently came to a deal with Jerry Seinfeld. The comedian gave Netflix one of his shows, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and agreed to some comedy specials. However, Seinfeld, was in no way part of this deal.

A few years ago, Netflix looked into acquiring the sitcom. However, the price tag was too high. The company, which has gone into debt in order to progress as the years go on, wasn’t able to afford the sitcom’s hefty price tag.

The show is available elsewhere, but it’s unlikely that Netflix will take on the sitcom. Even though they now have a solid relationship with Jerry Seinfeld himself, there’s too much money being demanded for Netflix to purchase the series for their streaming service.

13 Fargo

You might have noticed that Fargo the movie is on Netflix, but the show based off of the cult-classic movie is nowhere to be found if you live in the United States.

Sadly, Netflix and FX had some problems and couldn’t agree to certain terms.

Therefore, their relationship was terminated and the chances of Fargo coming to Netflix were squashed.

It’s not like you can’t stream Fargo at all. In fact, the show is available on Hulu. However, it’s not as though each new episode shows up a day after it premieres. Instead, you have to wait until another new season comes out before you can watch the one you waited around for.

Fargo has done well with both critics and audiences alike. The desire for it to be on Netflix is there, but it seems like Netflix’s hands are tied with this one.

12 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Will Smith and Janet Hubert The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

If you live outside the United States, you might be thinking that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air shouldn’t be on this list. However, this show isn’t available to stream in the States and it looks as though it never will be.

The show is available to stream in so many other countries. However, sadly, it’s not available in the country that it was filmed in. This is most likely because it does too well on cable channels that have acquired it. Repeats on cable still have a strong audience in America and this show does well with audiences.

So, while the rest of the world can rejoice that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is available to stream through Netflix, it’s sad to say that it will most likely never be available in the States. At least, it won’t be available without some pretty long discussions.

11 Outlander

Outlander season 3 finale, Claire and Jamie

One of Starz’s best series, Outlander, has a loyal fanbase. However, there are plenty of people who want to watch the series, but can’t since it’s not available on Netflix, at least in the United States. Although it’s available on Netflix in other countries, even listed as a Netflix Original, it’s unavailable in the States.

This is because Starz profits from membership. They have their own streaming service and a relationship with Amazon, including the Starz Amazon option through their prime service. While it only costs $8.99 a month, not everyone wants to pay that on top of Amazon’s membership fee.

Since Outlander already benefits from its relationship with a different streaming service, it’s doubtful that Netflix will be able to woo them over.

Needless to say, Amazon has become a powerhouse too.

10 Survivor

Survivor Cook Islands

Survivor claims to be America’s first real reality television series. Having made its debut in 2000, the show is still on air today. It seems like the perfect fit for Netflix. The show has plenty of seasons to binge-watch, yet Netflix hasn’t been able to acquire it.

With Survivor being one of its longest running shows, CBS has decided to hold onto it tight, just like a few other shows. While you can watch some seasons on Hulu, there aren’t many recent ones on that streaming service. That’s because Survivor is on the CBS All Access streaming service instead.

As the years continue on, Netflix will have to deal with the ramifications of not acquiring certain series early on. Just as well, the competition is only elevating from here on out.

9 The Night Manager

Sadly, The Night Manager is not on Netflix. The series has an all-star cast and has won many awards, but Netflix has a lot of legal issues to get through before it can obtain the series.

The Night Manager has many production companies involved in the series. Beyond that, there’s AMC that Netflix has to deal with.

While Netflix has been able to acquire some other AMC shows, it’s hard to say if they’ll be able to do the same with The Night Manager.

For one, it will be costly. Just as well, there are too many things that need to be exactly right for this to work out for Netflix.

Netflix has switched their focus to more original content, so needless to say, this might not be their biggest concern right now anyway.

8 South Park

south park

South Park technically did have a relationship with Netflix a few years back. However, they ended up signing a major deal with Hulu. Not only did this upset Netflix, but it upset fans as the show was once available to stream for free through the South Park website.

South Park has become a major success for Hulu. The company paid almost $200 million for the show to be available exclusively through their streaming service through 2019. It’s doubtful that Hulu will let this one get away. Another contract is most likely in the works.

Unless Hulu messes up, South Park will probably be with them for the long run. They’re making too much money with Hulu which results in Netflix not being able to attain the show for themselves.

7 Atlanta

Donald Glover and Bryan Tyree Henry in Atlanta Season 1 Episode 1

Atlanta is a show that has done very well. Having only completed one season, it is sure to be around and beloved for at last a few more years. Since it’s still early, it would be a great purchase by Netflix. Unfortunately, the streaming service doesn’t have a chance.

Due to FX choosing to go with Hulu, rather than Netflix, Atlanta will be available on that streaming service instead.

While no contract ever lasts forever, it’s most likely that Atlanta won’t be on Netflix anytime soon.

With Atlanta having become one of the most talked about shows of last year, it’ll be hard to acquire even if something does go wrong for FX. The show is a money maker and it’s simply just one that Netflix can’t seem to get their hands on.

6 The Americans

Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell in The Americans

The Americans is another show that has an extremely loyal fanbase. It does well with critics too. That’s why the show is in high demand when it comes to streaming rights.

While FX does hold onto their shows, they do tend to have some shows on other streaming services. So, while The Americans isn’t available to stream through Netflix, it is available on Amazon.

Netflix was unable to acquire The Americans early on, so now it’s too big of a buy for the company. Furthermore, too much has happened now for Netflix to even come close to getting it.

While The Americans might be around for a bit still, it will come to an end. Even then though, Netflix has too much competition and would be farther down on the list than other streaming services when it comes to obtaining it.

5 Chicago Hope

Besides the fact that Chicago Hope isn’t the most relevant show, it doesn’t have a very high fanbase. At least, not a large enough one that would watch it through a streaming service such as Netflix.

Beyond that though, there’s some major licensing issues that comes along with this show that makes it unappealing for Netflix.

On Chicago Hope, Mandy Patinkin’s character would always sing songs. Specifically, he would sing showtunes. That means that Netflix would need to get permission for every song he sang, which is just too much work. Even more so, it’s certainly not worth the work for a show that wouldn’t bring in a large enough audience.

While many love Mandy Patinkin in Chicago Hope, they aren’t going to see this show on Netflix anytime soon.

4 As Told By Ginger

As Told By Ginger on Nickelodeon

You might have realized that Netflix doesn’t have a whole lot of throwback Nickelodeon shows, even though they would do great on the streaming service. Looking back at the history of Netflix, the company has basically destroyed any hope of a good relationship with the kids network.

While Netflix did have some Nickelodeon shows in the past, As Told by Ginger wasn’t one of them. Netflix didn’t see the need for the show, as they didn’t think it would bring in enough viewers.

After choosing not to stream the show, Netflix ended up not being able to come to terms with Viacom, Nickelodeon’s parent company, and lost a whole bunch of other shows too.

As Told by Ginger might not have the same effect as Hey Arnold! or SpongeBob, but it still has a fanbase and the show itself is pretty great. Sadly, the show is unavailable to stream on Netflix or anywhere else.

3  3. The Golden Girls

The Golden Girls

There’s no denying that Betty White is popular. However, her show, The Golden Girls, isn’t. At least, it’s not with younger generations. While Netflix can see the appeal in Betty White as a person, they can’t see the appeal in her show.

Netflix is really focused on original content. They will also recognize shows that people love to binge-watch such as The Office and Gilmore Girls.

Sadly, The Golden Girls just doesn’t relate to present day and there wouldn’t be enough viewers to bring the show on.

Streaming The Golden Girls might attract some attention, but it just wouldn’t be enough for this mega monster of a company. There just isn’t enough value in the television show for Netflix to purchase the rights to it.

2 The Bachelor

The Bachelor

ABC is a company that actually has a really good relationship with Netflix. However, they won’t allow Netflix to take something away from them: The Bachelor (or any other show associated with it). The Bachelor has been around for a while, so there would be plenty of seasons to binge-watch. However, it’s just not going to happen.

The Bachelor gets so much attention online and through social media that ABC wants viewers to obsess over newer seasons. If they give Netflix the option the stream it, the newer seasons might lose some interest.

Since The Bachelor makes so much money for the network, ABC would prefer to keep things as is and not allow Netflix to stream it. Although fans are begging for older seasons to show up on the streaming service, it’s very unlikely that it will actually happen.

1 Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones makes a ton of money for HBO. Now that HBO has their own streaming service going on, there’s no way they will allow Netflix in on their profits. Even before that, though, Netflix never stood a chance with this one.

HBO has always seen Netflix as major competition. Since the beginning, they’ve stayed away from Netflix as best as they can. HBO has a “no exceptions” rule when it comes to Netflix and so there’s just no way Game of Thrones would ever be allowed on Netflix, at least not soon.

While Game of Thrones would be a great grab by Netflix, it’s simply impossible.

Fans just have to use HBO instead. Regardless of how many people would watch it through Netflix, HBO seems to know better than to allow that to happen.


Can you think of any other shows that would never be on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!

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