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When is Seinfeld coming to Netflix? (Update: October 1)
Update: September 1, 2021 – When is Seinfeld coming to Netflix? Very soon. We just found out that it’s due on the streamer October 1.
Seinfeld may be one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, but it’s currently without a streaming home in the US and other countries. The good news: It’s coming to Netflix. The bad news: It’s not on that service just yet. So when is Seinfeld coming to Netflix, anyway? We attempt to answer that question, as well as why the full show is currently not available to stream (legally) in the US.
What is Seinfeld, anyway?
Seinfeld (the show) is based on the stand-up comedy of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. He co-created the show with Larry David. Seinfeld played a fictionalized version of himself on the show, a rising comedian in New York City. He also has three good friends: George Costanza (Jason Alexander), Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards),
First launched under the title The Seinfeld Chronicles on NBC in 1989, the show suffered from low ratings at first. However, the network stuck with the show and it slowly became a ratings hit. It was a show that wasn’t afraid to showcase its four main characters doing some very unlikeable things. Part of the show’s charm was to see how deep the characters might go in a lie or scheme before being found out. The show also had several memorable recurring characters, including Seinfeld’s main nemesis Newman (Wayne Knight).
Seinfeld lasted for nine seasons and 180 episodes. By the time the final season started, the show was so popular that Seinfeld (the star) was making $1 million an episode. The final episode of the show had a massive audience of 76.3 million viewers. Since its cancellation, the show has continued to run all over the world in syndication.
Wasn’t the show on Hulu?
Until just recently, you could watch all nine seasons of Seinfeld on Hulu in the US. The streaming service reported paid as much as $1 million per episode for those streaming rights, according to Variety. However, Hulu later lost those rights to Seinfeld, and the show was taken off the service on June 26, 2021. In other parts of the world, including the UK, the show was available to stream via Amazon Prime Video.
Okay, so when is Seinfeld coming to Netflix?
In 2019, Netflix announced it had acquired the global rights to stream Seinfeld. According to the Los Angeles Times, the streamer paid “far more” than it did to get the rights to the US version of The Office for a few years, and the amount for that show’s rights was $500 million. Netflix lost the US rights to The Office at the end of 2020, and it also lost its rights to stream Friends to HBO Max earlier that year. The streamer likely sees Seinfeld as a way to keep many of its subscribers happy with a highly popular nostalgic sitcom.
As to exactly when Seinfeld is coming to Netflix, the streamer has finally announced it will be on the service starting October 1. When it does debut on the service, it’s expected to stay on Netflix for at least five years.
Netflix also plans to offer the show in 4K resolution for the first time (although you will still have to pay extra to get that 4K video). It’s unclear if Seinfeld will simply be upscaled to 4K resolution, or if the streamer plans to do a full remastering of the show’s 180 episodes.
Looking for something to keep you occupied before the show arrives?
Looking for something to hold you over? You can watch all six seasons of Jerry Seinfeld’s talk show series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, on Netflix. The premise of the show is in the title as Seinfeld cruises around in old or fancy cars talking to fellow comedians (and sometimes non-comedians like President Barack Obama) while sometimes stopping for a cup of joe.
You can also watch a number of documentaries and stand-up specials featuring Seinfeld. One is called Jerry Before Seinfeld, a special that features Jerry returning to his old comedy clubs in New York City, well before Seinfeld debuted.