Beloved show The Office leaves Netflix

Three characters from the Office are displayed: Kevin, Oscar, and Angela.

From Wikipedia

Characters Kevin, Oscar and Angela from The Office.

With every new year, popular streaming service Netflix removes and replaces a number of their shows due to differing contract deals and the creation of new shows for the streaming platform. This year, one of the shows to get the axe was the popular comedy sitcom, The Office.

The show was by far the most streamed television show of the 2020 year, receiving over 57 billion minutes of streaming, according to Variety.com. The show was clearly widely-liked by many, whether it be the calming, down-to-earth and relatable demeanor of the characters, or the frequent cheesy yet comical jokes that viewers are entertained by. There is no doubt that the show was very popular even years after its original release date.

As a result of the removal of the show from Netflix, many long-time fans of the series took to social media to express their emotions. User @harrisonredmond tweeted, “Me because The Office leaves Netflix in less than 24 hours,” followed by a meme of a main character from the series, Michael Scott, which quotes “Well I’m going through a little bit of a rough patch. The whole year actually.”

Another user, @HOTPRIEST expressed their grief for the loss of the show by posting, “2021 is starting off with The Office leaving Netflix. The year is already cursed.” Clearly much of the fanbase was distraught by the news that one of their favorite shows was no longer going to be accessible to them. This begs the question: if The Office is such a widely appreciated show, and clearly provides revenue for the streaming platform, why has Netflix chosen to remove the show?

Well, it’s not as easy a decision as it looks. Netflix doesn’t own the rights to the show, as the show was originally produced by NBCUniversal. The contract for the show on Netflix was set to end after this year, and although Netflix offered a large portion of money to keep the show on their platform, NBCUniversal was reluctant to seal the deal, after NBC formulated a streaming service of their own, ‘Peacock’, which was released in July of 2020, according to collider.com. 

NBC is now offering access to The Office on Peacock. In an attempt to engage and encourage upset viewers of the show to consider Peacock, the company is releasing never seen before “superfan episodes” along with the normal seasons of the show. The streaming service is offering the first two seasons of the show for free streaming, with the remaining episodes and “superfan episodes” behind a $4.99/month paywall or a $9.99 ad-free experience (forbes.com).

All in all, though Netflix may have stirred up a panic when they removed The Office from their streaming service to start the new year, it should be relieving to Dunder Mifflin fans that they can still access their favorite. just in a new form.