Netflix has set an Oct. 1 date for the debut of Seinfeld.
The top subscription streaming service inked an undisclosed but undoubtedly lucrative five-year deal with Sony Pictures TV for exclusive streaming rights to 180 episodes of the classic 1990s-era sitcom, which has been a huge performer in broadcast syndication, off-net cable and video streaming for the last two decades.
The show departed Hulu back in June.
Seinfeld will unfurl on Netflix in 4K resolution.
“This is the first time we’ve taken a risk of this nature, going all in on 9 seasons at the jump,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “But Jerry [Seinfeld] has created something special with this sitcom that nobody has ever done. I truly think he and [creator Larry David] have enormous futures ahead of them, and I’m thrilled Netflix could be the home for them to grow their fan bases.”
“Larry [David] and I are enormously grateful to Netflix for taking this chance on us. It takes a lot of guts to trust two schmucks who literally had zero experience in television when we made this thing,” quipped series co-creator and star Jerry Seinfeld, in a statement. “We really got carried away, I guess. I didn’t realize we made so many of them. Hope to recoup god knows how many millions it must have taken to do. But worth all the work if people like it. Crazy project.”
Seinfeld ran for nine seasons on NBC, starting in the summer of 1989 as a lightly regarded, almost experimental comedy, starring its titular up-and-coming New York-based standup, and masterminded by show-runner David, previously best known for struggling to break through on Saturday Night Live.
It departed what became NBC's vaunted "Must See" Thursday night schedule nine seasons later, in May 1998, watched by 76 million viewers and having transformed the art of TV comedy writing.
While Sony and Netflix never disclosed deal terms, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier that the Seinfeld deal surpassed NBCUniversal's $500 million pocket-to-pocket transaction to move The Office off Netflix at the beginning of this year and put it onto Peacock.
To mark the debut of Seinfeld on its platform, Netflix has compiled this teaser:
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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