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The classic sitcom, to which the streamer acquired global rights in a $500 million deal with distributor Sony two years ago, will make its Netflix bow on Oct. 1. The show has called Hulu home for the past six years.
Netflix made the deal in September 2019, not long after WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal took back streaming rights for Friends and The Office — two of the most watched acquired shows on Netflix during their tenures — for their respective streaming platforms, HBO Max and Peacock.
“Larry [David] and I are enormously grateful to Netflix for taking this chance on us. It takes a lot of guts to trust two schmucks who literally had zero experience in television when we made this thing,” said Seinfeld. “We really got carried away, I guess. I didn’t realize we made so many of them. Hope to recoup god knows how many millions it must have taken to do. But worth all the work if people like it. Crazy project.”
Netflix’s press release announcing the premiere date is written as if Seinfeld were a new series (shades of NBC’s 1990s “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you” campaign to get people to watch summer repeats). It also lists 1980s and early ’90s credits for stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Troll, Family Ties), Jason Alexander (Pretty Woman) and Michael Richards (UHF, Fridays).
Continuing the bit, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said, “This is the first time we’ve taken a risk of this nature, going all-in on nine seasons at the jump. But Jerry has created something special with this sitcom that nobody has ever done. I truly think he and Mr. David have enormous futures ahead of them, and I’m thrilled Netflix could be the home for them to grow their fanbases.”
Seinfeld will also move to a new on-air home in October as ViacomCBS takes over cable rights to the show from WarnerMedia. It’s slated to run on Comedy Central, TV Land and Paramount Network.
Netflix’s deal for Seinfeld marks the first time global streaming rights to the show are with a single platform. Hulu’s deal for the comedy only covered domestic streaming, while Amazon held rights in a number of international territories.
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