UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. Monday ― The Holiday Armadillo has spoken. Netflix tweeted Monday evening that “Friends” will remain on the streaming service for U.S. audiences throughout 2019.
Rumors ran rampant on Monday that NBC mega-hit “Friends” was slated to leave Netflix on Jan. 1. However, by Monday afternoon the issue had been thrown into question, with Netflix’s chief content officer describing the supposed news as a “rumor.”
The initial reports of the show’s departure, as you might imagine, left many people on Twitter thoroughly upset:
For a while there on Monday, “Friends” was listed on Netflix.com with an expiration date of Jan. 1, 2019 ― indicating the show would soon cease streaming after four years on the service, and leave a hole the size of 230 episodes in the hearts of millions.
By Monday afternoon, however, that expiration date had been removed, and Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, told The Hollywood Reporter that the show’s “departure is a rumor.”
So, what gives? Are we all being gaslit? A spokesperson for Netflix did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the matter.
TV lovers can perhaps be forgiven for feeling confused and vulnerable right now. After all, it was only recently that AT&T announced plans to launch its own streaming platform with three levels of service in 2019.
There will be an “entry-level movie-focused” package, a “premium service” with original programming and blockbuster movies, and a third service that bundles content from the first two, plus a library of WarnerMedia and licensed content.
At any rate, if “Friends” leaves Netflix, a lot of people are going to be upset ― us included.
This entry has been updated throughout.