Why Does Netflix Remove Shows? The Reasoning Behind the Departure of Some of Your Favorite Shows

Coffee andd Netflix

If you are like me, you have probably punched the search button severally on your Netflix app to access some of your favorite TV shows and movies to no avail. While this has been utterly dismaying at first, I finally got a response as to why Netflix was removing some shows from its streaming service.

Friends exiting the channel was a big blow, and I was among the people punching away on their keyboards expressing my sheer disapproval on Twitter. Even with a partial relief that we would still be able to stream the sitcom for the rest of 2019, we eventually have to come to terms that other big media are joining the streaming cloud and are reclaiming their screening rights to their seasoned shows.

Why does Netflix remove shows? While Netflix has a couple of reactions on its ‘Help Center’ page on their website concerning some of its users frequently asked questions, I also did some extra digging to help undo the puzzle that surrounds your online streaming provider.

The reasoning behind the departure of some of your favorite shows is the failure by Netflix to renew expiring licenses for third-party content. It’s not merely a failure on its part, but a decision ruled out by a number of considerations such as licensing rights being awarded to another company, poor viewership or unsatisfactory customer feedback and high cost of renewal.

However, it is essential to note that Netflix started this trend a long time ago. According to Cowen and Statistics Company, Netflix had more original programming hours on its website in 2018 compared to third-party content. This came to no surprise as the streaming giant has been at the forefront of adopting new technologies and redefining its business structures.

The shift towards more hours of original programming by Netflix was majorly influenced by the likability that content providers would eventually unveil their own streaming services in the future. A hypothesis that is indeed becoming a reality with the likes of Disney planning to launch Disney + and Warner Bros. Television unveiling its own platform in the last quarter of 2019. 

NBCUniversal also plans on joining the streaming fraternity, and this would compel removal of some of its original shows currently streaming on Netflix such as the popular series, The Office upon its 2021 expiration date.

Apart from understanding why Netflix removes shows, it would also be essential to know why Netflix would consider renewing an expiring TV show or movie license, how it licenses TV shows, how to find out if a show is leaving Netflix, requesting for new shows on Netflix and a list of some of the epic movies and series that will be joining the removed handle in 2019.

Why Netflix Would Consider Renewing an Expiring TV License

You are also probably hovering around the same question, “Why does Netflix remove shows while others are retained?” Netflix rules out the following consideration in their process of show renewal as well as new programming.

  • Whether the rights for license renewal are available
  • The cost of renewing the show and the viewership rates
  • Seasonal and localized factors

How Netflix Licenses TV Shows

A person is holding a remote to operate Netflix show on tv

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Netflix has exclusive rights on original or in house produced content such as Stranger thingsBlack Mirror and Orange is the New Black. This means that they can stream their originals indefinitely. When it comes to movies and TV shows from other creators, Netflix only gets impartial licensing rights for a specific duration.


For instance, after a strong petition from fans, Friends January 2019 expiration date was reinstated. Netflix renewed a non-exclusive licensing right with Warner Bros. Television for the ‘Central Perk’ sitcom for the rest of the year. 


While we may not have access to the actual licensing agreement between Netflix and show providers, Netflix has attached an option on their website to know whether a particular show will be removed from their app.

Requesting for New Shows on Netflix

Once you get a Netflix account and you realize that it does not stream some of your favorite TV shows, you can send a request for inclusion. How do you do this?

  • Enter your login details to access their website
  • Click on the ‘Help Center’ link at the bottom of the page
  • You will find this option in the ‘Request TV Shows or movies’ link
  • Enter the title/s of your request and submit
  • The ‘Help Center’ has a ‘Quick Link’ section where you can place a request for your preferred show

There are cases where Netflix is not able to respond positively to your request. And these are.

  • Streaming rights are exclusive to another content provider
  • The title is an original in a competitors streaming service channel such as HBO
  • The movie source does not extend licensing rights
  • Cost of licensing, number of requests and seasonal factors

You can submit additional requests by resubmitting the same title a couple of times to get their attention, but this is not helpful. Netflix has a system of identifying the source of new movie requests, and all your request for a particular show will still be counted as one. If you are using their app, you can check if your title request has been uploaded by clicking on the ‘Recently Added’ title.

Some of the Epic Shows That Will Be Exiting Netflix in 2019

A person is holding a remote and operating some shows on netflix

The ‘Rachel and Ross’ duo are not the only friends that Netflix would have to part with. Here is a list of some of the shows you will likely miss out in your 2020 Netflix subscription.

  • Disney’s 101 Dalmatians
  • Disney’s the Jungle Book; Mowgli Story
  • Friday the 13th
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
  • The Pianist
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Death Race
  • The Pianist
  • Legally Blonde Pretty in Pink
  • The Constant Gardener

To clear the air, I will also provide you with a list of shows that have already been slashed from Netflix.

  • Hell Raiser
  • Battle Royale
  • Disney’s Moana
  • Spotlight
  • Trolls 
  • Ip man: The final fight
  • Troy

You can submit additional requests by resubmitting the same title a couple of times to get their attention, but this is not helpful. Netflix has a system of identifying the source of new movie requests, and all your request for a particular show will still be counted as one. If you are using their app, you can check if your title request has been uploaded by clicking on the ‘Recently Added’ title.

​​Does Netflix Bring Back Removed Shows

The only instances where a show may be brought back on Netflix is when the show is still popular and has received an impressive demand. The demand can only be known when you follow the same process of requesting for new shows on Netflix.


Some of you might still be wondering if the repossession of full rights to shows by third-party providers from Netflix will cripple the streaming giant. While the competitive field will be levelled, and you will have access to even more affordable video streaming subscription services, Netflix will be focusing more on producing high quality original content.


All the worries looming around the question on, “Why does Netflix remove shows” bear insignificant implications on Netflix. It is intensely focused on their customer’s user experience rather than the heavy thuds of its oncoming competitor’s footsteps.

Other Related Questions

Netflix shows flash on laptop's screen

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

How does Netflix plan on changing its programming? While efforts will be streamlined towards creating a vast collection of in house shows, Netflix is defying the conventional cable network appeal to specific audiences and unveiling content that receives unsegregated and worldwide viewership. Even though it already leads in the number of subscribers, this globalization plan will be a seasoning way of getting the rest of the world to like it.


Will Netflix showcase live sports events? Streaming live sporting events would also be a lucrative idea for Netflix, but the streaming giant is reluctant to do so. The future may, however, bring on new opportunities as we wait for what other competitors will do to outsmart Netflix. 

So, hopefully, the next time you slouch on your sofa ready to binge watch on your most loved oldies, and it doesn’t appear, do not crucify Netflix for your ignorance.

Featured  Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels

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