After years of racking up significant view time on Netflix, the classic NBC single-camera sitcom will become a Peacock exclusive title starting January 1. Last year, NBCUniversal paid $500 million to secure five years of exclusive rights to the show.
Peacock launched in limited form last April, expanding nationally in July. Its basic tier is free and supported by ads. The $5-a-month Premium tier also has ads and is available for another $5 a month in an ad-free version.
Migrating the 200-plus episodes from the ad-free Netflix to an ad-supported streaming environment will be a process that is closely watched in the increasingly streaming-focused media business. Watching the show with ads is still the way linear viewers experience the show via networks like Comedy Central, of course, which will remain a venue for the show through at least 2025 under a deal reached last year. Unlike the other major streaming services that have launched over the past year, Peacock is the only one with a basic tier available for free. Advertising has always been a core priority for NBCUniversal, given its significant stakes in the ad business in linear TV and elsewhere in the digital world.
In addition to the full slate of episodes aired between 2005 and 2013, several more features will be included on Peacock Premium. Those bonus materials include “superfan” episodes, with new footage and deleted scenes in extended cuts of the original episodes, starting with Season 3, with more coming in March. (Watch an example of the “superfan” experience above.)
Also on deck for paying subscribers will be behind-the-scenes footage, including bloopers, featurettes, and interviews. Also launching is The Office Zen, described as “a 24/7 channel of ambient noise devoted to the sights and sounds of the office for anyone working at home.”
Last week, NBCU chief Jeff Shell said Peacock has drawn 26 million sign-ups, though there has not yet been a breakout of how many of those have upgraded to Premium. Customers of NBCU parent Comcast’s Xfinity pay-TV and broadband plans as well as those of Cox have access to Peacock Premium at no extra charge.
“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.”
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