Seinfeld Steps Into Friends Zone

Rivals have snapped up Netflix's top two shows
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2019 6:30 PM CDT
Netflix Signs Seinfeld After Losing Friends
"Seinfeld" cast members, from left, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerry Seinfeld and Michael Richards pose Screen Actors Guild awards in 1997.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

One hit sitcom deserves another, so Netflix has turned to Seinfeld to replace Friends. The streaming network has a five-year deal to make all 180 Seinfeld episodes "about nothing" available to subscribers, starting in 2021, People reports. Netflix is losing Friends to the new HBO Max. "Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against," a Netflix executive said. "It is as fresh and funny as ever and will be available to the world in 4K for the first time." Jerry Seinfeld's series ran on NBC for nine seasons, ending in 1998. It was Nielsen's No.1 prime time show when it went off the air.

Netflix is losing The Office, as well, which NBCUniversal's streaming service will have when it launches in 2021. Executives have shrugged off the loss of both series, which are the service's most-streamed shows. Netflix has said it will have to break from outside programming in time anyway, per the Los Angeles Times. So the company is putting $15 billion into content this year, up from $12 billion in 2018. Terms of the Seinfeld deal weren't announced, but people familiar with it said Netflix paid much more than $500 million, which is what the five-year rights to The Office is costing NBCUniversal. Seinfeld has many owners, but Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, who co-created their series, will share in the Netflix windfall. (Read more Netflix stories.)

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