How do you replace the likes of Rachel Green and Michael Scott? With Jerry Seinfeld, Elaine Benes, Cosmo Kramer and George Costanza, apparently. Netflix announced it has acquired the worldwide streaming rights to all nine season of Seinfeld. The show is currently available to stream in the United States on Hulu.
"Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against," Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, said in a statement via Los Angeles Times. "It is as fresh and funny as ever and will be available to the world in 4K for the first time."
Seinfeld's jump to Netflix comes after the streaming giant prepares to lose Friends and The Office, two of its most popular acquired series. Friends is making its way to HBO Max, WarnerMedia's new streaming service in 2020. "The One Where We Have to Say Goodbye," Netflix tweeted." We're sorry to see Friends go to Warner's streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in the US). Thanks for the memories, gang."
According to reports, Netflix paid around $100 million to keep Friends for a year after fans went into a panic seeing a January 2019 expiration date.
The Office will depart Netflix in 2021 for NBCUniversal's unnamed streaming platform.
"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," Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal DTC and digital enterprises, said in a in a statement. "We can't wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal's new streaming service."
According to a source with knowledge of the deal, Hulu paid $130 million for its six-year deal to air Seinfeld. Netflix likely coughed up way more than that for worldwide rights to the Emmy-winning series.
Seinfeld, which starred Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards, originally ran from 1989 to 1998 on NBC.