Netflix has reversed the removal of one of its most-watched titles at the last moment.
It was reported in December that sitcom fans would no longer be able to stream the US version of The Office from January 2023, which led to outcry on social media.
The show’s removal had been expected since June 2019 when NBC, the network that originally aired it, announced plans to exclusively host the series on its own streaming service for five years.
This was to come into effect from 1 January 2021, meaning The Office would not have been back on Netflix until at least 2026.
However, What’s on Netflix has reported that, thanks to a last minute deal struck by bosses, The Office US has remained on the streaming platform, and will be available to stream there for another two years.
It is worth noting, though, that this is just in European territories.
The development was not the greatest news for Netflix. In 2018, a Nielsen report revealed that subscribers clocked up more minutes watching The Office than any other TV show.
To put this into perspective, the streaming service once paid a staggering $100m to keep Friends for just one year – and that show didn’t even come close to being streamed in the US for same number of hours as the Steve Carell series.
The Office has built up a strong fan base over the years. What started out as an adaptation of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s BBC series soon took on a life of its own thanks to its memorable ensemble cast, which included Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson.
In an interview with The Independent, Krasinski said he would be up for a reunion.
“I would totally do it,” he said. “I can genuinely say I’ve never been in anything like it. We all look forward to the day we can do it again. Hopefully we can find a way.”
Find a full list of every movie and TV series being removed from Netflix this month here.