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‘The Office’ Is Leaving Netflix and Everyone Is Freaking Out. But Should They?

The most popular show on streaming will soon have a new home.

Universal TV

This is not an elaborate, Halpert-level prank: The Office is leaving Netflix. The greatest show ever about a northeast Pennsylvania paper company is moving to a new online home.

Netflix announced the news is a tweet on Tuesday. You’ll be able to stream the show, which always left us smiling and satisfied, through the end of 2020. But, starting in January 2021, it will be available on a new, ad-supported streaming platform from NBCUniversal.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a move like this, and it won’t be the last. Disney announced in 2017 that it would be pulling its movies from Netflix to put them on Disney+, and WarnerMedia is widely expected to pull Friends` — the second most-streamed show on the service — after a last-minute one-year extension.

The most-streamed show is, of course, The Office. The Wall Street Journal reported that it was streamed for 52 billion minutes last year, three percent of the total time for the entire platform. Paul Lieberstein, who played HR rep/punching bag Toby Flenderson and ran the show for three seasons, told the Daily Beast last year that seven of Netflix’s top ten titles are seasons of The Office.

Given these eye-popping stats, it’s no surprise that NBCUniversal is paying handsomely for the privilege of streaming the show. The new deal is reported worth $500 million over five years.

Fans of the show reacted with dismay and plenty of GIFs.

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But there is a silver lining for Netflix subscribers who don’t feel like shelling out for another streaming platform. Space Force, a new workplace comedy from The Office co-creator Greg Daniels and Steve Carrell, who also stars, is coming to the platform.