Update: 5:09 p.m. PT: This story has been updated to include the price NBCUniversal is paying for The Office.
While you might already be panicking, the Steve Carell-led comedy is not completely leaving the streaming world. Its just leaving the streaming service it has called home for as long as anyone can remember. We all knew this day would come, and it's sadly, finally here.
When Netflix's current streaming deal for The Office ends in January 2021, the show will make the jump to NBCUniversal's new stand-alone streaming service. The still-unnamed service will become the exclusive home for all nine seasons of the comedy favorite, which means you won't be able to find it anywhere else, for five years. (Unless you're someone who owns all nine seasons on DVD, of course).
"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 Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "We can't wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal's new streaming service."
According to THR, at one point there was an idea to share The Office with Netflix, with the option to take it back exclusively after one year. But in the end, after a bidding war between the streamers in which both were given the opportunity for a fair auction, NBCU's streaming platform paid "$100 million per year to stream the series" and outbid Netflix. That's a lot of money per year for a paper company.
NBCUniversal's streaming service is set to launch in 2020, which means that The Office won't be available on Day One. However, that still doesn't lessen the blow of adding another streaming service to your roster if you want to watch and rewatch episodes (like you're probably doing now). And yes, Netflix is also pretty upset about this, tweeting out its own statement:
Let's not forget that this still means you've got at least 550+ days to watch all 201 episodes. We'll cherish the Netflix time we still have with The Office.