Get Ready to See More “Friends is Leaving Netflix” Stories (Because It’s Almost Definitely Going To)
For the second time in the past several months, the internet is abuzz with an awful lot of *feelings* regarding the possibility of “Friends” leaving Netflix. Before you log on to Twitter and post a heartfelt thread about that time you binge-watched “The One With All the Cheesecakes” for 24 hours straight and lived to tweet about it, prepare yourself for an onslaught of even more stories about the nostalgic sitcom’s eventual exit from Netflix—because it’s almost definitely going to happen.
There hasn’t been an exact departure date or even any straightforward confirmation that “Friends” and Netflix are set to part ways, but a recent statement made by Kevin Reilly – TBS and TNT president and Chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment – all but guarantees it, according to Deadline.
During the Television Critics Association’s recent winter tour, Reilly briefly let attendees and “Friends” viewers alike know that their longstanding dedication to the show will soon be put to the test, that is, when WarnerMedia begins offering its forthcoming streaming service. A beta version is set to launch later this year, but the details—like the official name and pricing tiers—have yet to be determined.
When asked if WarnerMedia’s new streaming service would uproot “Friends” from Netflix, Reilly responded:
“I think you can expect the crown jewels of Warner will ultimately end up on our new service. Pulling it away (from Netflix)? It’s certainly something we’re willing to do.”
Although Netflix just commemorated its $100 million streaming deal which granted it access to Friends through 2019, Reilly made it clear that he’s not into the idea of sharing rights to the show across streaming platforms.
“I think for the most part, sharing destination assets like that is not a good model to share — my belief is that they should be exclusive,” he added. (If you want a deeper dive into the politics of streaming, check out this recent Twitter thread from Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff.)
One thing’s for sure: Your “My List” queue won’t be the same without “Friends,” but it’ll be interesting to see how many viewers follow Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Ross, Chandler and Joey over to the WarnerMedia platform.