The award-winning Fox sitcom That ’70s Show is no longer available to stream on Netflix, regardless of region, as reported by Newsweek. The removal of the show from the platform comes as a surprise. According to a screen capture from the Wayback Machine’s archive of the site What’s on Netflix, That ’70s Show was not originally listed as one of the series scheduled for deletion in the first version of Kasey Moore’s article “Movies & TV Series Leaving Netflix in September 2020,” originally published on August 21st.
Although the show’s removal may shock some, the probability of this scenario has been a topic of conversation since November of last year. According to CinemaBlend, The Carsey-Werner Company, the original production company behind That ’70s Show, was “courting offers from ‘at least four’ different buyers… hop[ing] to nab exclusive streaming rights to That ’70s Show.” As reported by Deadline, Carsey-Werner put out a press release indicating their interest in new streaming opportunities for their entire sitcom library, including A Different World, Cybill and 3rd Rock from the Sun. According to Deadline, Netflix entered a licensing agreement with Carsey-Werner in the early part of the 2010’s to house all their comedy programming, but the streamer eventually reduced their holdings to one show: That ’70s Show.
The vintage-flavored sitcom may have premiered all the way back in 1998, but it reportedly maintained its audience all throughout the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Via The Observer, a Nielsen report which concluded that That ’70s Show proved itself to be “a popular show with broad appeal that… performed well for Netflix, especially in the pandemic.” The moment when Netflix could choose to renew the program’s contract allegedly arrived somewhere between September and December, per The Observer‘s report. According to Newsweek, it seems as if Netflix is “repositioning its strategy to focus more on original content.”
All eight seasons of That ’70s Show are currently available to stream in HD at $1.99 per episode on Amazon Prime. Additionally, DVD and Blu-Ray box sets of the complete series are available from Mill Creek Entertainment.