Fans of the NBC hit went into a tizzy over the weekend after customers spied a notice on Netflix’s page for the show indicating it would no longer be available to stream as of Jan. 1, 2019. Netflix has now removed that expiration notice from its website.
In fact, “Friends” will not be dropping off Netflix on that date. Under a new pact with Warner Bros. Television, it will be available in the U.S. and Canada through 2019.
A Netflix rep confirmed the deal and the company tweeted the news Monday:
“Friends” has been one of the most popular licensed shows on Netflix, ranking in top 10 of the most-viewed licensed TV shows for the 12 months ending in September 2017, according to a data analysis from 7Park Data.
Netflix first bowed all 10 seasons of “Friends,” encompassing all 236 episodes of the show, to subscribers in the U.S. and Canada in January 2015, under a deal with Warner Bros.
There had been industry speculation that Warner Bros. would not renew a deal with Netflix for “Friends” and other top content as WarnerMedia plans to launch its own subscription VOD service in the fourth quarter of 2019. Separately, Disney is ending its film-output deal with Netflix, starting with 2019 releases, as it gears up to launch Disney+ later next year.
“Friends” stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer as a group of twentysomething pals living in Manhattan. The show, which originally aired on NBC from 1994-2004, was produced by Warner Bros. Television in association with Bright/Kauffman/Crane Prods.
Earlier, before Netflix announced “Friends” would return for another year, aficionados took to social media to complain about Netflix’s potential loss of the show and threatened to cancel their subscriptions — something that routinely happens when popular content leaves any service.