The iconic sitcom, which originally aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004, has become a staple in our lives for some twenty odd years, with the super six being introduced to a whole new audience recently when Netflix reportedly paid $100 million to keep it on the service.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times that show bailed me out when I came back with a date and needed something to whack on before, you know, we get to it.
Sadly, however, I’m going to have to find an alternative as the show is set to move to Warner’s new streaming platform when it launches sometime next year.
The broadcasting giant, which licenses the iconic comedy series, is planning a rival to Netflix with a service of its own and said its “crown jewels” – which includes all 236 episodes of Friends – will be available exclusively on it.
“You can expect the crown jewels of Warner” — referring to hit shows like Friends — “will ultimately end up on the new service,” WarnerMedia chief creative officer Kevin Reilly told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Monday.
And he’s not planning on sharing them with Netflix or any other competitors, either: “Sharing destination assets is not a good model. My belief is they should be exclusive to the service.”
This poses a huge problem for us Friends fans who might be happy to subscribe to Netflix but don’t have plans – or the spare cash – for an additional streaming service (although perhaps super-fans will subscribe instantly anyway).
Kevin also said he was “very interested” in swiping shows including The Flash, Arrow, The Big Bang Theory and Riverdale, which currently stream on Netflix, for the new service.
Perhaps there will be some divine intervention between now and then but unless that happens fans will have to look to Warner Media to stream Friends when they roll out their platform in 2020.
It was good while it lasted, right?
Images via NBC