Netflix confirms the hit workplace comedy The Office is leaving the streaming service on December 31, 2020 before moving to NBC's Peacock.
Netflix is officially losing The Office at the end of 2020. Although The Office originally aired on NBC from 2005 to 2013, the hit sitcom has found a second life in recent years thanks to streaming. Thanks to its outstanding cast headlined by Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Rainn Wilson and the high rewatchability factor, The Office has gained an even bigger fan base now than what it had after the series finale.
This success can be attributed to Netflix, where The Office became a staple of the streamer's library for subscribers looking for light and familiar material, much like Friends. NBC previously licensed The Office's exclusive streaming rights to Netflix, but the former company launched a service of their own, Peacock, in early 2020. Once Peacock was announced, it didn't take long for reports to surface that The Office would leave Netflix and go exclusively to NBC's service instead.
Following reports that The Office would join Peacock's library in 2021, Netflix officially announced today that the series is leaving on December 31, 2020. This means that starting January 1, 2021, Peacock will be the only streaming service to contain all nine seasons of The Office domestically. Previous reports noted NBCUniversal acquired the rights for the next five years by paying Producers Universal Television $100 million per year.
Now that Netflix has confirmed The Office is leaving at the end of 2020, it could be a huge blow to the current king of the streaming wars. A poll from 2019 generated shocking results about Netflix's subscriber count should they lose The Office along with Friends and Disney. Nearly half of the participants between 18-29 years old said they'd unsubscribe if these major titles were no longer part of the Netflix library. Friends already left to join HBO Max at the start of 2020, and almost all Disney movies and shows are on Disney+ by now. While Netflix was built primarily as a collection for known titles and only dabbled with originals, Netflix's original content will continue to become more important to their future.
What the loss of The Office ultimately means for Netflix remains to be seen, but this should be a big boost for Peacock. NBC's streaming service recently reported 22 million subscribers combined between their various free and paid tiers. Now that The Office is coming in 2021, Peacock should push hard to let the public know that this is the new home to hit show - and that people can watch it for free, with ads. Plus, Peacock will have extended versions of The Office episodes. If the demand to rewatch The Office remains high after it leaves Netflix, then Peacock will get a major shot in the arm to increase subscribers next year.