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This Is Why TV Shows Leave Netflix

It's surprisingly simple.

Posted on September 15, 2017, at 6:48 p.m. ET

This October, One Tree Hill, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights (among others) will be leaving Netflix.

NBC / Via

And if you’ve spent any time on Twitter this past week, odds are you’ve noticed people griping more than usual about the impending exoduses.

One Tree Hill is leaving Netflix next month and I've never felt more personally attacked in my life

ayannadelrey/Twitter / Via Twitter: @ayannadelrey

.@netflix how many likes for you to keep 30 Rock. I'm not kidding, I will cancel my subscription. I am full of nerd rage. #30Rock

erincotterdavis/Twitter / Via Twitter: @erincotterdavis

netflix taking friday night lights off is the worst thing ever

TaylorZachry2/Twitter / Via Twitter: @TaylorZachry2

But this outrage cycle happens every month to some degree with everything from Jennifer Love Hewitt's CBS show Ghost Whisperer...

Somebody please explain to me why ghost whisperer is leaving Netflix in July that is just wrong

alexrpalacios/Twitter / Via Twitter: @alexrpalacios the Fox animated series Futurama...


alanstogin/Twitter / Via Twitter: @alanstogin fellow Animation Domination series Bob's Burgers.

i still haven't recovered over bob's burgers leaving netflix tbh. 😪

hotlinebalingit/Twitter / Via Twitter: @hotlinebalingit

So we asked Netflix to explain how they decide which shows stay and which ones go. And this is what we found out:

NBC / Via

When Netflix acquires a show, it’s typically for a specific amount of time and when that window is up, the company looks at a variety of factors to decide if they’ll renew the title. Some of the biggest ones are...

Universal / Via

1. Member feedback.

Warner Bros / Via

2. How much a show is viewed.

NBC / Via

3. And the number of similar titles still available on the service.


Sometimes the choice isn't even in Netflix’s hands, like when a show makes a deal with another TV channel or service, or when Netflix has a rotating content deal with a studio.

Warner Bros / Via

“In that case, we do not or cannot renew. We put the money toward other content we think will bring members joy," a representative for Netflix told BuzzFeed News. "As we expand our content portfolio, our goal is to continue offering great movies and TV series for our members, while also providing content that is available exclusively on Netflix."

The good news is that even if your favorite show leaves Netflix, it can likely be found for purchase, rerunning on TV, or — potentially — on another streaming site.

NBC / Via

And it's possible your favorite could come back to Netflix one day, too.

FX / Via

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.