friends streaming

We knew it was going to happen, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking to discover that Friends won’t always be there for us — at least on Netflix. The beloved NBC sitcom, which took on a second life as the white noise playing on every millennial apartment’s TV screens, has officially left Netflix. The streaming giant announced this news last year after losing the coveted sitcom in a costly bidding war to Warner Media, but plenty of Netflix subscribers were surprised to find the series gone from the service early morning on January 1, 2020. But all hope is not lost, Friends fans. Here’s where you can find Friends streaming when it arrives on a new service later this spring.

The One Where Friends Left Netflix

Consider Netflix officially un-friended. (Un-Friends-ed?) Friends has left Netflix after a lucrative 5-year deal that saw the NBC sitcom gained renewed popularity as the service’s second-most streamed show. Netflix announced the departure back in summer 2019, after Warner Media won the streaming rights to all 236 episodes of Friends in a heated bidding war estimated to be worth $425 million. Friends is still available on Netflix in territories outside the U.S., but the domestic streaming rights will head to HBO Max upon its spring 2020 launch.

But it still took many U.S. Netflix subscribers by surprise when Friends disappeared from streaming service at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2019. Fans of The Office, another top performer on Netflix, should also be wary: The Office will be leaving Netflix at the end of 2020 to leave for NBCUniversal’s Peacock in 2021.

Pivot! To HBO Max (And Physical)

So what now? Friends fans can pivot…to a new streaming service. The sitcom will debut on HBO Max sometime in May 2020. The new streaming service is priced at $14.99 per month (the same price as HBO Now), and will include not only Friends as well as movies and TV shows from the HBO and Warner Bros. archives, but a slew of original titles, one of which is a Friends reunion special with the original cast.

But until May, Friends fans will have to find other means to watch the show in the U.S. You can pay tribute to the ’90s sitcom by going old-school and purchasing the show on DVD, with the 32-disc complete series collection priced at $123.77 on Amazon. Or there’s always digital retailers like Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. But for those who don’t want to pay for Friends, there’s always cable TV reruns on TBS or Nickelodeon.

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