The upcoming WarnerMedia streaming app is taking yet another sitcom classic off of an existing catalog, reclaiming Seinfeld from Hulu. The beloved 10-season sitcom will be dropped from Hulu at the end of 2020, just in time to reappear on Warner's planned in-house streaming app.
Warner is changing the landscape of streaming comedies as it prepares to launch its proprietary app in 2021. The company owns NBC, so it has already announced plans to take Friends and The Office off of Netflix. According to a report by Deadline, it will be doing the same with Seinfeld on Hulu in a year and a half.
WarnerMedia plans to pad its streaming app with all the heavy-hitters it already holds the rights to, hiking up the prices in licensing for other services. This includes movies and TV shows, from all of the properties under the company umbrella.
As expected, WarnerMedia reportedly plans to remove SEINFELD from Hulu as soon as the original deal expires, so the WarnerMedia streaming service will, eventually, become its exclusive home.— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) July 1, 2019
Of course, the hit sitcoms of the 1980s and 1990s are a huge part of that, and Seinfeld is one of NBC's most popular productions of all time. The series centered around the comedy of Jerry Seinfeld, and was famously described as "a show about nothing." To this day it is considered a cultural linchpin, and the inspiration behind other ensemble-driven comedies, from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to Big Mouth.
Not only does WarnerMedia intend on streaming these shows itself, but it may be creating prequels, sequels and spinoffs for some as well. The company is working on an animated prequel series to the movie Gremlins, and insiders told Deadline to look out for reboots of classic shows, including Family Matters, Step by Step, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Perfect Strangers.
These plans are in their very early stages, but they could well come to fruition. Networks and streaming outlets are all-in reboots, as they have become such a massive success. Netflix has already exceeded all expectations with Fuller House, its Full House revival. Elsewhere, ABC saw unheard of ratings with its Roseanne reboot last year, and CBS has several such shows on the air right now, including Magnum, P.I. and MacGyver.
If there is a point of diminishing returns on reboots and revivals, entertainment companies have not found it yet, and it sounds like Warner is at least thinking of using that strategy for its new app. It will also get a boost from a number of DC Entertainment programs, absorbed from the DC Universe app that launched just this year.
The WarnerMedia app is expected to live in 2021. Until then, fans have time to watch Seinfeld in its entirety on Hulu.