Warner Bros boss Kevin Tsujihara just told investors that it has licensed 236 episodes — all 10 seasons — of Friends to Netflix for the U.S. and Canada, with streaming beginning on January 1, 2015. Netflix has been making many such deals as it bulks up its offerings, and now it has a piece of the iconic series that launched the careers of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.
It marks the first time Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution has licensed exclusive subscription-video-on-demand rights to Friends, which is still big on cable — on Nick at Nite and TBS — and in broadcast syndication.
Friends is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its premiere this year. The hugely popular series, which ran from 1994-2004 and anchored NBC’s Thursday night lineup, has been popping up of late as part of Warner Bros. TV’s initiative to celebrate the milestone. A pop-up replica of the series’ signature Central Perk coffee shop has been serving free cups of Eight O’ Clock Coffee in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood since September 17 through Saturday, and some of the cast hit Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show to reprise their roles, if only for a night.