What do you do when all your competitors launch their own streaming platforms and take their content back? You go out and spend a ton of money on the most popular show owned by the only big studio that doesn’t have its own platform. That’s what Netflix did when it bought the global rights to stream Seinfeld from Sony for $500 million. Now, Netflix has set a “premiere” date for all 180 episodes of the series of October 1 with a “teaser” trailer that pretends this is a brand new, little-known series.
“Larry (David) and I are enormously grateful to Netflix for taking this chance on us,” said Jerry Seinfeld. “It takes a lot of guts to trust two schmucks who literally had zero experience in television when we made this thing. 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.”
Obviously, the show is not actually new, but Netflix wants everyone to know it has Seinfeld now. The landmark sitcom’s home for the last six years was Hulu, and during that time the streaming landscape has changed dramatically. While Netflix is competing by pumping out as much content as it possibly can, it’s the television staples that have often been its biggest successes as people flip them on to just watch a favorite episode or, ahem, “chill.” However, the streamer lost its two biggest streamers to Peacock when NBC took back the rights to both Friends and The Office, the latter of which was some of the most-watched content on Netflix. The streamer clearly is hoping that Seinfeld can replace it.
Seems like a big risk to take on a show about nothing, but maybe it will pay off. Get ready for Seinfeld on Netflix with its October 1 premiere date.