The network has "secured the exclusive domestic streaming rights" to the beloved sitcom, NBC announced Tuesday
Sorry, Scranton fans.
“We’re sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts’ content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021,” Netflix’s tweet said.
NBC also announced the news in a press release, saying that the network “secured the exclusive domestic streaming rights” to the show, and it will stream for five years on the upcoming NBC platform, which is expected to launch next year.
The sitcom — which famously stars Steve Carrell as Michael Scott, an office manager for the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company — was streamed for more than 52 billion minutes in 2018 alone, according to the network. NBC also said that in April 2019, The Office was streamed for nearly twice as long as the next most-viewed show, but did not specify the runner-up.
The news was devastating to fans, who expressed their grief on Twitter with plenty of Office-themed GIFs and memes.
In perhaps an attempt to assuage fans’ fears about life without The Office on Netflix, the streamer sent out another tweet Tuesday promoting a new sitcom from Carrell and The Office creator Greg Daniels.
“just leaving this here for totally no reason,” the tweet said, quoting a previous tweet from Netflix’s “See What’s Next” account announcing the upcoming series.
“.@SteveCarell will star in a new workplace comedy series he co-created with #TheOffice’s Greg Daniels about the people tasked with creating a sixth branch of the armed services: the Space Force!” said the quoted tweet, which was originally posted in January.
But the news shouldn’t come as a total surprise.
Netflix and NBC have been in a battle over who gets to keep rights to The Office, according to a Wall Street Journal report published in April. According to the report, Netflix has paid around $100 million for the exclusive streaming rights to the show.
Other popular Netflix shows could also be leaving in the coming years as more and more companies develop their own streaming services, like Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, and Parks and Recreation, which are owned by WarnerMedia, Disney, and NBCUniversal, respectively.
Time to get binging!