To a certain population of sitcom enjoyers, the worst thing that could possibly ever happen is set to happen on Dec. 31, 2020: NBC’s The Office will be leaving Netflix forever. Thankfully, this living nightmare will be pretty brief as The Office will come right back to the streaming world on Jan. 1, 2021.
Fresh NBC streaming service Peacock today confirmed all the details of The Office’s impending arrival to its streams. In the form of a very clever Dunder Mifflin memo from David Wallace to “All Employees,” Peacock made their big plans for the classic mockumentary known. And they are as follows.
All nine seasons and all 201 episodes of the series will be available on Peacock. The first two seasons (which amount to 28 episodes due to the first season’s short six-episode run) will be free and available to all. Seasons three through nine will be available with a Peacock Premium or Peacock Premium Plus subscription. Peacock Premium costs $4.99 per month and features all of the content available on Peacock. Peacock Premium Plus costs $9.99 features the same content but with no commercial interruptions. All episodes will be available in Spanish audio and Spanish closed captioning.
One question that remains about those 201 episodes surrounds episode 185, “Dwight’s Christmas.” Earlier this summer, Netflix opted to remove an instance of blackface from the episode, which involved Dwight Schrute’s assistant briefly appearing as racist Dutch folkloric character Zwart Piete (Black Pete). NBC has confirmed that the Netflix version, approved by creator Greg Daniels, will be the one available on Peacock.
In addition to the original 201 episodes, Peacock will feature “superfan episodes” that include deleted scenes and other previously unseen footage. Superfan episodes from season 3 will be included at launch, with future installments to come in March. Peacock is also developing themed curations of the show’s catalogue (such as best holiday party episodes or best appearances by guest stars) and a series of themed playlists (such as best pranks and best office romances).
“Having The Office back in the NBC family opens up access to a lot of extra content that we originally shot,” creator Greg Daniels said in a statement. “The team at Peacock wanted to create the ultimate destination for fans, so I went back into the dailies with the original editors of the show and found some never-before-seen footage that was cut for time but is still fun to see. You can choose to watch the classic version of the show, or the superfan extended cuts with this new footage and other deleted scenes that we are gradually rolling out,starting with season 3. The experience on Peacock should feel like a celebration of The Office for fans.”
Peacock also debuted one such deleted scene along with the announcement.
Of course, what would The Office experience be without using it as background noise while you tackle other tasks? To that end, Peacock is including “The Office Zen”, “a 24/7 channel of ambient noise devoted to the sights and sounds of the office for anyone working at home.”
While that may all sound like a bit much for the launch of a 15-year-old sitcom that’s never left the streaming world since it arrived, The Office is set to be the jewel of Peacock’s library and one of the long-term strategies to the streaming service’s success. The Office first premiered in 2005 on NBC as an adaptation of Ricky Gervais’s successful British series of the same name. As developed by Greg Daniels, the show was well-received and popular throughout the entirety of its run. It also featured the comedic acting talents of John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, and Steve Carell (who somehow never won an Emmy for his portrayal of needy boss Michael Scott).
In its streaming life, The Office has proven to be such a constant for generations of fans and viewers that NBCUniversal reportedly paid $500 million to Universal TV to acquire the rights to it for Peacock. Similarly HBO Max paid around $425 million to acquire Friends and reportedly around $1 billion (!!!!!) to acquire The Big Bang Theory.
Welcome to the streaming world, where “low-hi hang out comedies to vibe to” are king.