Dunder Mifflin's days are numbered on Netflix. The Office, one of the platform's most-watched shows, is leaving at the end of 2020 when all nine seasons migrate to NBCUniversal's just-launched streaming service, Peacock.
The news was first reported in June of 2019, when the bidding rights for the workplace sitcom topped out at $100 million per year for five years, according to Variety. "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," NBCUniversal direct-to-consumer and digital enterprise chairman Bonnie Hammer said about Peacock's acquisition. "We can't wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal's new streaming service."
The Office will join a number of NBC's best-known programs, including Cheers, Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock, which kicked off the launch with a special quarantine reunion special, filmed safely under social distancing protocols. The specials was slated to air on NBC as an informal kickoff to the service, but several affiliates opted out as they view Peacock as direct competition to network TV.
News of the move wasn't met well with fans, with some even petitioning Netflix to keep The Office, and preventing them from having to sign up to another streaming platform — especially when two of its three tiers contain ads. It was such an issue that Netflix even made a statement about it. "We're sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts' content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021."
Not everyone was broken up about it, though. The show's official Twitter account celebrated the news with a tweet featuring Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) singing an excerpt from Gwen Stefani's "Holla Back Girl." Although the replies from the tweet weren't all on the same page.
While NBC was the highest bidder reacquiring The Office, it has yet to acquire another flagship sitcom, Friends. The show is currently exclusive to HBO Max, though Peacock has declared its intent to pick it up eventually. In the meantime, HBO Max is still planning a reunion special featuring all six of the show's stars. It was initially slated to coincide with the launch of HBO Max back in May, though the coronavirus pandemic has delayed filming indefinitely.