Netflix’s Most-Watched Show Might Surprise You; No, It’s Not ‘Friends’

When Netflix announced that Friends would be leaving its platform at the end of 2018, fans of the show literally lost it. Within hours, subscribers to the streaming service were making threats to cancel their subscriptions if the show was pulled. The demands and threats were so overwhelming that Netflix shelled out an astronomical $100 million to keep Friends for an additional year. And although Friends clearly has a phenomenal fan base (see also: Jennifer Aniston’s Instagram debut) it is not, in fact, Netflix’s most-watched show.

The most watched show on Netflix revealed
Netflix | JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

The Office vs. Friends

According to the Wall Street Journal, Friends clocked in a whopping 31.8 billion viewing minutes in 2018 alone. While that number is sky high, Friends gets beat for the top spot of Netflix’s most-watched show by the beloved series, The Office. In fact, The Office crushed Friends by a wide margin of 14 billion viewing minutes in 2018, meaning that subscribers to the streaming service watched a grand total of 45.8 billion minutes of Dunder Mifflin last year.

The Office is leaving Netflix in 2021

Unfortunately for lovers of the Scranton, PA paper company, The Office won’t be available to stream on Netflix for too much longer. In July, Netflix announced that NBC had chosen to remove The Office from Netflix in favor of launching it on their own streaming service, Peacock. “We’re sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts’ content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021,” Netflix tweeted out.

The cast weighs in

Of course, fans of The Office were devastated to learn that it would be leaving Netflix. But, just what is it about the show that makes it so bingeable and enjoyable? According to the cast, it’s all about how things are written and the show’s inherent relatability. “It’s very, very, very well-written and smart. I also think that at the core of the show are the relationships. It’s this sort of misfit family. And the relationships themselves feel familiar,” Angela Kinsey (who plays Angela Martin on the show) explained in a recent interview with the New York Times.

Recognizable characters

Kinsey continued on to say that there are characters within The Office that feel universal no matter what stage of life you’re in. “What I’m seeing even with my daughter in fifth grade or someone in their 50s with a corporate job is that whether it’s in your homeroom classroom or in your office conference room, there’s probably a Dwight. There’s probably an Angela. Right,” Kinsey questioned. “There’s a person who’s the stickler for rules. There’s the weird desk-mate that you’ve had for 10 years,” Jenna Fischer, who played the lovable Pam Beesly, co-signed her best friend.

Will there be an Office reboot

In the age of nostalgia, fans are questioning if they can expect a reboot of The Office. Certainly, Netflix subscribers alone have proven that there’s certainly an audience for it. While the cast and crew are split about whether they’d be open to doing a reboot, Kinsey and Fischer, who recently launched an Office themed podcast, Office Ladies, are certainly on board with a reboot of some kind. It just might not be in the way fans are expecting.

Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer are on board

“People have been pestering me about a reboot. And I would say, ‘Oh, I think it’s just perfect as it is.’ But now that I’m rewatching it and reliving all the memories of what it was like to work together, I’m the one pestering everybody for a reboot,” Fischer confessed.

“We know we might not be able to get everyone for a traditional reboot, but we will take a reunion movie,” Kinsey added. While we’re certainly intrigued by the concept of an Office reboot, we’re more than content with the nine seasons of the original show. The real question is how many more times can we binge the series until Netflix removes it in 2021?