As Michael Scott once said, “All I can do right now is put on a brave face.” But in this moment, the aforementioned feels less feasible than listening to James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover” on repeat to cope with the following unnerving news: The Office will leave Netflix in 2021, but it's not going far. Come the end of January 2021, all nine seasons of NBC’s cult-favorite workplace comedy will leave Netflix in order to be exclusively available on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, which launched in July of 2020. Of course, the initial news of our beloved Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s employees’ move to NBC’s newest streaming platform had been discussed several months back, to the heartbreak and dismay of Netflix users. With NBC’s statement, fans now have a solidified timeframe as to when the series will leave the streaming service — and it’s sooner than expected.
Following the news, Netflix took to social media on Tuesday, June 25 to comment on the show’s departure. The official account wrote, “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.”
In April, Netflix had originally announced that the series would remain until 2021 “at least!” Given the new solidified timeframe, it appears as though NBC simply couldn’t wait to pick up the pop culture staple. In NBC’s official press release on the move, Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal DTC and digital enterprises, said of the decision, “The Office has become a staple of pop culture and is a rare gem whose relevance continues to grow at a time when fans have more entertainment choices than ever before. We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service."
NBCUniveral’s streaming service comes on the heels of other media giants launching their own streaming platforms, such as Disney+ and Apple TV. According to findings from the Wall Street Journal, The Office served as Netflix’s No. 1 most-watched shows among a list of the top 10 in the U.S. in 2018. In the findings, Netflix’s top shows also included Parks and Recreation, also owned by NBC, Grey’s Anatomy, which originally airs on ABC but is owned by Disney, and Friends, which is owned by WarnerMedia. Given the fact that the aforementioned companies are all slated to launch their own streaming platforms, the future of these shows’ tenures on Netflix remains unclear.
The Office premiered on NBC in 2005. The series has since launched the careers of big-names such as Steve Carell, Mindy Kaling, John Krasinski, and Ellie Kemper into the mainstream. In the network’s press release of the sitcom’s move to NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Pearlena Igbokwe, president Universal Television, said of the award-winning workplace comedy, “The Office is one of our most prized series, and we are thrilled it has found an exciting new home where generation after generation will continue to discover and rediscover Michael Scott’s most cringe-worthy moments, Jim and Pam’s will-they-or-won’t-they, and the incredible quirky ensemble that makes each episode a masterclass in comedy.”
While The Office's departure from Netflix is more solemn than the death of Angela's beloved cat Sprinkles, fans can take solace in the fact that our beloved Dunder Mifflin employees will be around until January 2021 on the platform.