'Friends' Officially Leaving Netflix for WarnerMedia Streaming Service, Which Now Has a Name
"The One Where 'Friends' Leaves Netflix" is coming: WarnerMedia announced the official name and programming lineup for its new streaming service on Tuesday, revealing that it will be the exclusive home of the beloved sitcom beginning next year.
That means that Netflix will be bidding farewell to one of its most popular programs, and the streaming service confirmed the sad news in a bittersweet Twitter post on Tuesday.
"We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner's steaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in The US)," the tweet said. "Thanks for the memories, gang."
The move was long expected, after WarnerMedia revealed its plans last year to launch its own standalone platform. Netflix had to do some expensive financial wrangling to keep "Friends" in the fold for all of 2019 (and ward off rumors of its premature departure), but apparently couldn't justify the financial toll of securing it in perpetuity. According to The Hollywood Reporter, WarnerMedia shelled out a whopping $425 million for a five-year exclusive contract for the series.
But if you think "Friends" is all that the Warners service has to offer, think again: The new platform, called HBO Max, will feature not only films and TV series from the Warner Bros. and New Line libraries -- including DC properties, the "Fantastic Beasts" films, and recent hits like "A Star Is Born" and "Crazy Rich Asians" -- but also HBO content including "Game of Thrones," "Big Little Lies," and the upcoming "Watchmen" series.
Other highlights include original movies from Reese Witherspoon and Greg Berlanti; numerous original series, including an animated "Gremlins" prequel; popular series like "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "Pretty Little Liars"; and content from a host of networks including Turner Classic Movies ("The Wizard of Oz" gets a big shout-out in the above promo), Cartoon Network, CNN, The CW, and TBS, among others.
HBO Max is expected to launch in early 2020.