When Netflix began streaming Friends in 2015, the series was a feather in the cap of its ever-expanding library. Not to mention a terribly expensive acquisition as well, for the deal reportedly cost $118 million, or roughly $500,000 for each episode, long after TBS had already been gifting the world with syndicated reruns of Rachel and Ross’s “break” for millions of fans. Of course, Friends is like comfort food for viewers, always good to fill gaps if one ever runs out of TV shows to binge (wait, is that even possible?) while they continue the process of accepting that a reunion shall never happen.
Well, 2019 might be The One That Saw Netflix Lose Friends, according to an analysis detailed by Deadline. In the report, media analyst Rich Greenfield suggests that Friends could effectively go on streaming hiatus, to later emerge on WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service (that shall launch in the latter part of the year). Of course, that wouldn’t be the only high-profile title to depart from the streaming giant, but losing Friends could be a sign of Netflix losing its solid foothold in the streaming wars:
The loss of Friends is, in streaming services as in life, would be a blow. The Warner Bros. Television show first aired in 1994 and ran for 10 seasons on NBC. The show’s appeal is undiminished, all these years later. The measurement firm Parrot Analytics said it’s the third most popular sitcom in the U.S., behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine (#1) and Big Bang Theory (#2).
With streaming services popping up all over the place, Netflix is also poised to lose Disney/Marvel and Warner Bros./DC titles as well, among others. Although AMC hasn’t made noises (as of yet) about pulling titles like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men, Netflix will surely feel the crunch, but it’s no wonder that the streaming service has been filling its coffers with original content. And for sure, viewers will miss Friends during any streaming gap, but at least the threat of a reboot is in the rearview mirror.