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Here’s why Netflix is removing some of its first original series

Published Oct 27th, 2022 10:22AM EDT
Famke Janssen in Hemlock Grove.
Image: Netflix

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Last month, many people were surprised to see Hemlock Grove on the list of shows leaving Netflix in October. The streaming service loses shows all the time, but Hemlock Grove wasn’t just another licensed TV show. The much-derided horror series was actually the third Netflix original series ever, following Lilyhammer and House of Cards.

But the surprises didn’t end there. On Wednesday, we learned that Lilyhammer, the very first Netflix original series, is being removed from the streaming library in November. Why is this happening? And why now? Thankfully, we can answer these questions.

If you hit play on an episode of Lilyhammer, you will see “A Netflix Original Series” plastered on the screen. But not every Netflix Original falls into the same category. As What’s on Netflix explains, Netflix doesn’t actually own every Netflix Original. Therefore, they leave the service all the time. Daredevil is one of the more notable departures.

In effect, Lilyhammer and Hemlock Grove were really just long-term rentals.

What’s on Netflix points out that Gaumont International Television owns the rights to Hemlock Grove. The show officially left Netflix on October 23, 2022. That happens to be precisely seven years to the day after season 3 premiered on the service.

As for Lilyhammer, Netflix didn’t actually include it in the list of removals for November, but our sister site IndieWire has confirmed that it’s leaving next month. IndieWire notes that the show started airing on NRK in Norway before the entire season dropped on Netflix.

Netflix’s 10-year license for Lilyhammer expires in November, and the company decided not to extend it. This comes just months after Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Lilyhammer in a blog post on the Netflix media site.

When or where you might be able to watch either of these shows in the future remains to be seen. In the meantime, all three seasons of Lilyhammer are still streaming on Netflix for now if you want to see where the streaming service started a decade ago.

More Netflix coverage: The 53 best Netflix shows and original series to watch now

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.