A few months after it was confirmed that Netflix is losing two of its most popular legacy streaming shows, Friends and The Office, the streamer has sprung for the rights to another major Thursday night NBC sitcom of the past.
Seinfeld is coming to Netflix starting in 2021, the company announced in a tweet Monday. The show had streamed on Hulu since 2015, at least domestically; Amazon had the international rights. The Netflix deal is worldwide.
Jerry & Elaine & George & Kramer & Netflix
All 180 episodes of the Emmy-Award winning Seinfeld are coming to Netflix — worldwide! — starting in 2021 pic.twitter.com/tLvcCKH4vl
The five-year deal with Sony Pictures TV is reportedly for “far more than” the $500 million figure that was recently paid by NBC Universal for The Office, per The Los Angeles Times, although the official figure has not yet been announced.
The new deal represents another chance for Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, and the principal cast members to get paid for the mega-popular show. In addition to their participation in the actual show, the Seinfeld principals had previously gotten paydays for the show’s syndication rights, its DVD sales, and the Hulu deal.
When Hulu announced that it had obtained the streaming rights to Seinfeld back in the summer of 2015, they opened a pop up exhibit in New York that recreated Jerry’s apartment, while also featuring memorabilia from the show. Hulu was said to have paid $160 million over five years for the rights back then, but the market for streaming rights to popular TV series has clearly shot upward.
The L.A. Times reported that Netflix was “aggressive” in getting the deal done, outbidding Hulu, Amazon, NBC Universal, and other suitors. The day after the Seinfeld deal was announced, NBC Universal formally announced its own streaming service, which is called Peacock.
The “show about nothing” originally aired on NBC from 1990 through 1998. It was originally launched through Castle Rock Entertainment, and future presidential advisor Steve Bannon was rumored to own a piece of the show, although that has been disputed.
Jerry Seinfeld’s other TV series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is also exclusive to Netflix, even though it originated on Sony Crackle, and Seinfeld also has a deal to produce stand-up comedy specials for the streaming service.