While The Office was popular when it aired on NBC, earning a total of five Emmys and a whopping 42 Emmy nominations , it wasn't the pop-culture phenomenon it has become as the No. 1 show on Netflix. In fact, 5.7 million watched the series finale in 2013. The Office, says Sonia Rao, "performed relatively well for NBC in its eight years, at one point ranking as the network’s highest-rated scripted series. It appears most would agree that The Office is a good show. Great, even. But if you were to survey the social media of our younger generations, that characterization might rise to the greatest show of all time. A good chunk of millennials and Gen Zers, the oldest of whom would have been in grade school when the sitcom premiered in 2005, quote it on Instagram, on Twitter and even on dating apps, where heterosexual men are often 'just a Jim looking for their Pam.'" Rao points to 17-year-old singer-songwriter Billie Eilish's Netflix-fueled obsession with The Office, which premiered when she was 3 years old. "Netflix, in a way, has given The Office a third life (the second being traditional syndication, which began in 2009)," says Rao. "Instead of watching reruns on live television, generations of cord-cutters and cord-never-havers can binge however many episodes they want and whichever episodes they want with the click of a few buttons. It drones on in the background as they make dinner at night. It seeps into their subconscious."
Netflix could never create its own Office: "Shows like The Office and movies like the Marvel films, which will likely all one day be on Disney+, have brand recognition, and they're the meat and potatoes that keep subscribers on the service," says Angela Watercutter. "Those movies and TV shows are also indicative of the kind of programming that Netflix really can't do on its own. The Office typically had 20-episode-plus seasons and the full catalog is 188 episodes total. That's a massive haul, especially when compared to Netflix original series, which have seasons that are generally half that size. Even though it's expected to spend some $15 billion on original content in 2019, Netflix still needs to get a lot of bang for those bucks, so it specializes in niche series that are more fast and loose than a traditional network show."
The Office is just as much a Netflix show as The Crown: "The general viewing public is not necessarily acquainted with the reasons why these shows are shifting platforms, and those reasons don’t really matter," says Daniel D'Addario. "If you’ve subscribed to Netflix primarily because it is the thing that delivers you The Office after you get home from work, that show’s disappearance is something of a betrayal, and a loss that might make it worthwhile to switch streaming loyalties."