On the list of shows leaving Netflix in January, you may have noticed Lost in the mix. When Netflix announces what’s leaving its streaming service it’s sometimes hard to know if it’ll come back—some titles seem to leave and return with frequency throughout the year (like Young Frankenstein) while others depart never to be heard from again. With Lost, I’m afraid it’s a case of the latter.
Lost is gone from Netflix for good, as all 121 episodes of the Emmy-winning (and zeitgeist-capturing) drama series have moved over to Hulu. This comes as part of Disney/ABC Television’s deal with Hulu that has seen other shows like black-ish, Designated Survivor, and the original TGIF lineup show up on Hulu, although it’s possible this is a temporary measure as Disney is readying its own streaming service to launch next year.
Regardless, this is another case of Hulu bolstering its library of existing content while Netflix continues to purge its offerings of non-Netflix owned properties. Years ago the streaming service had a pretty hefty library of older films and a boatload of TV shows, but as they’ve invested more money into creating original series and movies, Netflix has let its licenses with popular shows and films lapse. Futurama leaves the service completely on January 30th after being a mainstay for some time, the latter seasons of Family Guy are gone, and if you’re looking for classic films, forget about it. Netflix has essentially purged almost all films made before 1980 from its library.
On the one hand it’s frustrating because we’d like all our favorite things to be in one place, but if Netflix is investing billions of dollars into original programming, it makes sense for them to want to focus that money on content they own in perpetuity rather than shows or movies they pay for. And hey, they’ve still got Friends right?
The Netflix library has diminished in recent years but it’s certainly not devoid of great movies or shows. It’ll be interesting to see how things progress this year, and as we inch closer to Netflix’s deal with Disney expiring, after which Marvel and Disney movies will also depart the service. For now, if you want to watch Lost and don’t have Hulu, you’ll have to settle for the terrific complete series box set.