Loaded up Netflix recently and thought “where have all the classic TV shows on Netflix gone?”. You are not alone. Over the past 5 years, Netflix has lost a significant number of TV series from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and even up to the early 2000s and unfortunately the trend is likely to continue and not stop.
Before we get into the reasons behind your favorite older classic TV shows leaving Netflix, let’s have a quick “In Memorium” of some of the major shows that have left over the years:
- The Twilight Zone & Twin Peaks – Removed in July 2021
- Tales of the City – Removed in June 2021
- That 70s Show – removed in September 2020
- The Andy Griffith Show – Removed in July 2020
- Bob Ross Collection – Removed in June 2020
Going back even further, Netflix used to be the home of MASH, Lost, cheers and much more.
For anyone who follows this blog at all or even follows Netflix and the current media landscape, the answer might be somewhat obvious to you.
The shows in question are all running from Netflix because the distributors of these shows all have different goals than they did a few years ago. In almost all cases, the shows have left to return to the control of the original licensor and bolster their rival streaming service.
Ultimately, it comes down to competition and the best way to compete with Netflix is not to license some of your valuable catalog to them, no matter how much Netflix is willing to pay.
It’s not a complete exodus from classic TV shows from Netflix, though. While providers like Disney, NBCUniversal, and ViacomCBS have all or are still retiring their content, there are a few that still license per show. We’re talking about Sony Television Pictures and MGM who have both licensed older content to Netflix in recent years. Sony is arguably the biggest with one of their biggest titles from the 90s, Seinfeld, as the service will soon be deployed worldwide. MGM has licensed some of the older ones stargate series, but whether this continues with Amazon becoming the new owner remains to be seen.
There are a few other places to mine for classic TV, like Carsey-Werner, but of course they all come at a high price.
Netflix has done a great job of creating content as part of its Netflix Original library. They’ve been making Netflix Originals for nearly 10 years, and there are over 2,000 of them in the United States, representing more than 40% of the total library. That said, give it a try, they probably just can’t take advantage of that nostalgic factor that some of the classic TV series presented.
They have revived a number of shows in recent years (fuller house, Stories of the city) that can give you a bit of a nostalgic kick, but even those stop for the same reasons we mentioned above.
But in the end, if you are looking for classic TV. Netflix is not the number 1 destination and is unlikely to return to that position without a major acquisition.
Now let’s hear what you have to say about this. Are classic TV shows important to you? Want to see more on Netflix and where have you found a better collection of classic shows? Let us know in the comments.