Netflix is officially losing The Office at the end of 2020. NBC's workplace sitcom may have ended in 2013, but the series appears to have not lost any ground in the landscape of television. Featuring a great ensemble of Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, and many others, The Office's characters, story, and humor make it immensely re-watchable. This is evident in how The Office has continued to stay relevant through reruns and syndication, but the full series being instantly available on Netflix has helped tremendously.
Old fans continue to watch the series, while younger viewers or those who missed the show during its initial nine-season run have an easy path to catching up. But, as the streaming wars continue to rise with Disney, Warner Bros., Apple, and others planning to join Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, in-demand and reliable content like The Office is a premium. Rumors have persisted for quite some time that with NBCUniversal developing a streaming service of their own, The Office could soon leave Netflix behind.
As shared by THR, NBCUniversal has officially decided to move The Office off of Netflix at the end of 2020. The series will continue to be available in its entirety on Netflix until 2021, which is when NBCUniversal will switch it over to its streaming service. NBCUniversal obtained the rights after outbidding Netflix and other suitors and will pay Producers Universal Television $100 million per year for five years to be the home to The Office. The unnamed new service will hold the exclusive streaming rights to The Office domestically, but the current international streaming deals will remain for now.
The confirmation that The Office will not be a mainstay of Netflix's future is a big blow without a doubt. While they do not release viewing metrics for the series, The Office is one of the most recognizable shows in its catalog. The loss of The Office will come on the heels of Netflix losing Friends at the end of this year. The service will still have plenty of other popular, older shows and movies, but this will only put more pressure on their original pieces of programming to pop.
The move is bad news for Netflix and could see some ending their subscription as several other services become available, but it also gives NBCUniversal a major IP to lure in subscribers. Their service is set to launch at some point in 2020, so there may be several months where it'll be available without The Office, but they can now likely count on an increase in subscribers starting in 2021. NBCUniversal will surely push the addition of The Office in a significant way once they can, but for any diehard fans who rely on Netflix for access, it may be useful to set a reminder to subscribe to the new service in 2021. After all, maybe this would be the landing spot for a possible revival series or movie.