At long last, the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s shenanigans can be streamed in full for free — but only for a limited time.
The NBCUniversal-owned Peacock streaming service unlocked all seasons of the acclaimed “The Office” comedy series for its free tier of users on Thursday. All regular episodes of the nine-season sitcom can be streamed on the platform through March 25. The news arrived several months after Peacock caused a stir by paywalling all but the show’s first two seasons behind the streaming service’s premium subscription tiers ($4.99 a month with ads or $9.99 a month with no ads).
Though Peacock is now streaming more “The Office” content for free than ever, the streaming service is still locking the “Superfan Episodes,” which include never-before-seen footage and deleted scenes, behind its premium tiers, according to Variety. The streaming service also offers other “The Office” content, such as highlights, bloopers, featurettes, and interviews.
Popular comedy series are key ingredients to the success of most of leading streaming services; Peacock’s acquisition of “The Office” was considered a major blow to Netflix, which served as the show’s streaming home for several years. IndieWire’s Libby Hill recently noted that “The Office” continues to be a massive draw for streaming service users in a January report on 2020 streaming habits.
“Leading all streaming competitors with a truly jaw-dropping 57 billion minutes watched is ‘The Office,’ which should come as no surprise to anyone who has turned to the soothing sound of sitcom banter to drown out the screaming existential crisis that was last year in its entirety,” Hill wrote in a January article. “These numbers likely come as a dagger to the heart for Netflix, long the streaming home of the series, which made the leap to Peacock on Jan. 1.”
“The Office” has been a popular topic in television news over the last few months; Leslie David Baker, who portrayed apathetic office worker Stanley Hudson on the show, started a crowdfunding campaign in 2020 to create a spinoff series centered around his character. More recently, “The Office” showrunner Greg Daniels suggested that a reboot of the beloved series wouldn’t be impossible as long as he was involved with the project.