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Netflix Loses ‘The Office’ Will Competitors Take Over?

Netflix will no longer stream “The Office,” one of its highly viewed offerings, starting in 2021. What does it mean for the streaming giant?”

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Netflix Photo: Mark Bonica | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Netflix has come a long way since it started in 1997. The streaming giant relies heavily on its offerings of hit TV shows like Friends, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Office.

Unfortunately, Netflix will no longer stream The Office from January 2021 as NBC has decided to offer the sitcom in its streaming platform

The Office premiered on NBC last 2015 and used a documentary-style format to follow the workers of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company. Led by Steve Carell as the boss, the show presents the mundane yet hilarious day-to-day of the company.

NBC has announced last January that they will launch their version of a streaming service called NBCUniversal in 2020.

According to NBCThe Office was streamed for approximately 52 billion minutes. Last April, the show was considered as the next most-viewed program on streaming video-on-demand. 

Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, says, “The Office has become a staple of pop-culture and is a rare gem whose relevance continues to grow at a time when fans have more entertainment choices than ever before.”

Netflix has owned the rights to The Office since 2007. With Disney and NBC creating their streaming service, most of Netflix’s highly viewed content is in jeopardy.

History of Netflix 

Reed Hastings and Marc Rudolph, two software engineers, founded Netflix in 1997. The original idea was to use the Internet to provide an alternative way for consumers to rent DVDs. In April 1998, Netflix was launched as the world’s first online DVD rental store. Before its streaming service, Netflix’s competitor was Blockbuster.

Similar to Blockbuster, Netflix provided a pay-per-rent model for each DVD in the first year. For a membership fee, users can access to Netflix’s more than 500 DVD selection. A user can choose a DVD from their catalog online, and the company would mail the DVD to his/her home. Once finished, the user will send back the DVD to the company. This marketing model proved to be more convenient for users than having to go to a Blockbuster store to rent out VHS tapes or DVDs. 

In 1999, the company introduced its monthly subscription plans. Users can rent unlimited number of DVDs within one month of their subscription. Once their subscription plans gained popularity, Netflix dropped its single-rent DVD options. 

In 2007, Netflix introduced its streaming service. With the birth of Youtube in 2005, the company decided to ride the technological wave by providing streaming services to its customers. By 2010, Netflix has expanded to countries outside the US like Canada and Latin America. 

Aside from expanding, Netflix has decided to create their own content. Its first hit show was House of Cards, which premiered on 2013. The company released all 13 episodes on the same day, giving Netflix users the chance to watch episodes continuously without having to wait for the next airing of the episode as with cable TV.

Since then, Netflix has continued streaming their original movies and TV shows with hits like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and GLOW. In 2018, Netflix earned good ratings for their movies like Bird Box, Velvet Buzzsaw, and Triple Frontier. Documentaries and concerts also fared well with audiences like Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce, respectively.

By 2016, Netflix launched their services to 190 countries, in total.  

Netflix’s competitors

With Netflix success and the continued rise of users preferring streaming services, multiple production companies have started creating their own streaming services. Aside from NBCUniversal, Disney and Apple are also planning to move in the streaming business. 

Netflix’s current competitors are Hulu and Amazon Prime. 
Hulu launched in 2008 with movies and TV shows from various production houses like Netflix. Aside from movies and TV shows, Hulu also provided News and Talk Shows in their list of offerings. In 2011, the company created its first original content — a News show called The Morning After, originally hosted by Brian Kimmet.

Amazon Prime is a premium service that provides Amazon users with free delivery, unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, music, and exclusive deals on the website’s shopping section. Amazon Prime was launched in 2005 with its original business to provide free two-day shipping and low rates for one-day shipping of Amazon products to its subscribers. 

In 2011, subscribers had access to stream over 5,000 movies and TV shows. In 2015, Amazon collaborated with 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks to produce their first original content titled Chi-Raq. The movie stars Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Angela Basset, Wesley Snipes, and Samuel L. Jackson. 

Despite Netflix’s current and soon-to-be competitors, Morris Mark, one of Netflix’s investors, is not worried about Netflix’s foothold in the streaming industry. According to Mark, Netflix is becoming a staple in household video bundles, while allowing room for other streaming services, such as Hulu or Amazon Prime. 

Netflix has continued investing in creating its original content hiring the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.

Hi! I'm a contributing writer who loves tech, pop culture, and food. I'm also an ESL Teacher and a Photography Enthusiast.

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Arts & Entertainment

Gossip Girl Is Making A Comeback Series

Manhattan’s teenage elites better watch their backs, Gossip Girl is officially announced to make a return on HBO’s upcoming streaming service.

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Photo: Cecilia Saia | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Hey Upper East Siders, Gossip Girl is officially back. The freakishly omnipresent blogger is making a comeback in 2020 to watch over the lives of Manhattans’ elites.

WarnerMedia has sent to order the series for ten new hour-long episodes from the popular tv show for its upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.

The original Gossip Girl creators — the team of Joshua Safran, Stephanie Savage, and Josh Schwartz — are all returning to work on the new episodes that will loom over the lives of New York City’s teenage elites. There are also reports speculating a new Gossip Girl.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about — Josh, Stephanie and I — for a little bit, just in terms of, ‘Is this something we want to explore?’ We’re all so in love with the original and had such an incredible time working on it, and it’s such a big part of our lives,” Safran told THR

“Then the stars aligned and we had availability to jump, and Warners, obviously, it’s something they’re very passionate about. It seemed like the best time and also the best way to do it.”

As of the moment, there aren’t any reports if any of the formerly loved cast (Serena, Dan, Blair, Chuck, and Nate) would also be making a comeback in the upcoming Gossip Girl series. But one thing’s for sure: it will be a sequel to the original and will take on new characters with new drama all the while living the “elite problems” background.

The new series logline

“Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.”

If any of you Gossip Girl fans could remember, social media was pretty much in its earlier phase during the series. It is quite interesting that the new series will be focusing on how social media will shape the 2020 version, given that it is the gut of the entire series. According to Zoe Fox of Mashable, the show popularized social media networks and mobile communication, becoming “a pioneer in its use of mobile.”

“It’s just a new look at this particular society in New York, the idea being that society changes constantly,” Safran said. “So how has this world changed, how has social media and its effect changed? All of those things allow us to look at the world 12 years on as opposed to just redoing the story. None of us are interested in just redoing a story.”

Initially, Gossip Girl was a CW series. Its president, Mark Pedowitz, claimed at the Television Critics Association that talks were happening for potential reboot months ago but only if the trio — Safran, Savage, and Schwartz — signed on. And luckily, they did.

Gossip Girl originally aired for six seasons from 2007 to 2012 with 121 dramatic episodes that were based on the YA novel series by Cecily von Ziegesar. Quite significantly, the 5-year series launched the careers of Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, and Taylor Momsen.

At the moment, none of the original cast is announced to be on board, but based on previous interviews, super fans can at least hold out hope.

On July, Crawford told that he’s not opposing the idea. “I don’t know what it would look like with us being in our 30s now, but I always say, because it was such a big part of my life, I’m open to anything,” he told Digital Spy. “It would have to be really right, and really specific, and with TV and the golden age of the TV streaming service, maybe an eight-episode season.”

In May, Meester said that no one has ever seriously asked her to return to the iconic role of Blair Waldorf. “No one’s ever talked to me about it except for in interviews, and I always say the same: I never say never, so I don’t know. No one’s sent me that information,” she told E! News at the time. 

As for a looming new Gossip Girl, initially voiced by Kristen Bell, we’ll also have to find out. As she says in the show: “And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell! You know you love me… XOXO, Gossip Girl.”

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Taika Waititi Confirmed To Direct Thor 4

Thor 4 is a go now that Taika Waititi is reported to take the helm as director again.

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Thor 4 | Source: ABS-CBN News

After the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s glorious end to Phase 3 with Avengers: Infinity War, details have been meek regarding the future of our beloved original Avengers cast. Fortunately, it is recently confirmed that Taika Waititi will be directing and writing the upcoming Thor 4 movie.

For quite a while, since Infinity War, the only thing sure about the original avengers was solely about the upcoming Black Widow movie that is set to be Natasha Romanoff’s (played by Scarlett Johansson) origin story. Additionally, the other sequels continuing are no-brainers like Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

A fourth standalone Thor film was unheard of since MCU has never done it before with Robert Downey Jr.’s and Chris Evans’ portrayals of their MCU characters with only three standalone films each. Thor 4 will mark the first time any single character has gone that far. Now, with Waititi confirmed to return to the Thor franchise, fans can start looking forward to seeing Thor back in the big screen.

Significantly, Waititi was the director behind 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, which was a blockbuster hit and saw great success by earning a whopping $854 million worldwide while critics’ raves put the movie at 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The move also rejuvenated what had been a rare declining franchise performer for Marvel.

At the time, the two middling outings for the God of Thunder in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor and Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World did not see the same high earnings as other avengers stand-alone films such as Iron Man and Captain America. It was only during Waititi’s take over of the franchise had it delivered the most well-received installment in Thor‘s solo series. 

Furthermore, Waititi was involved more than directing Thor: Ragnarok and even played a character called Korg, who was Thor‘s companion while being imprisoned in the garbage planet of Sakaar. Fans well-received Korg with his dumb wit and overall humorous character.

It would be a no-brainer to bring Waititi back in the Thor franchise and see Korg again in Thor 4. In other news, the golden hero of Asgaard, Thor, is presumably set to return to the franchise despite him saying in the past that he is done playing the character with the sole exception when there’s “another great script that comes along.”

How the untitled Thor 4 will pan out is still very much in the dark along with most of the movies slated in the MCU’s Phase 4. Particularly, the last time we saw Thor was in Avengers: Endgame, helping his fellow original members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes defeat Thanos once and for all. The film ended with Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy setting off on a quest to find Gamora, indicating Hemsworth’s character may appear in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 

Based on how Spider-Man: Far From Home closed the book on Phase 3, we can expect that Thor 4 will pick up after the events of Endgame. According to Screen Rant, “Thor 4 may be ready to hit theaters by 2021, or 2022 at the latest unless Marvel prioritizes other movies first – which is a possibility. It’s also unclear whether Thor 4 would take place before or after Guardians 3, depending on how soon after the events of Endgame that movie picks up.”

Fans, for now, will have to wait until the weekend during Marvel Studios’ 90-minute panel at the San Diego Comic Convention this weekend.

On the other hand, The Holywood Reporter said that with Waititi’s upcoming involvement in the Thor 4 movie, his work with Warner Brother’s long in development movie, Akira, will have to be pushed back.

Akira is Warner Brother’s supposed to be an adaptation from the Japanese Manga, which Waititi was also set to direct. It was penciled for a May 21, 2021 release with Waititi already on a worldwide search for its casting but got eventually delayed due to script-writing difficulties.

Now that Waititi’s two projects are brushing too close with another in shooting dates, the director is forced to take priority and Thor 4 will take Waititi’s number 1 spot.

Warners’ next step for Akira is unclear. Several sources have said that Warners is keen on keeping Waititi involved for the long-term and hopes to see him pick up Akira after Thor 4, THR says.

For 2019, we can expect Fox Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbit, from the direction of Waititi, which is a satire about a young boy whose mother houses a Jewish girl to hide her from Nazis. Waititi plays the boy’s imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler and is set to release on Oct. 18.

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Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Musical-Focused With Harry Styles As Prince Eric

Harry Styles in tandem with Halle Bailey is a musical waiting to happen on the big screen

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Disney's The Little Mermaid: Musical-Focused With Harry Styles As Prince Eric | Z6Mag

Harry Styles is in early talks of playing the iconic Prince Eric role in the upcoming Disney live-action remake of the 1989 original classic, The Little Mermaid. And people over Twitter could not contain their excitement even though none of this is final as of the moment. Seemingly, Disney is taking on a more musical-centric route for the movie.

Styles is a former member of the world-renowned band One Direction who disbanded a couple of years back to their fans’ dismay; but all five members of which struck out to have solo singing careers.

Zayn Malik, who is another of Styles’ former band member, performed the latest rendition to Aladin 2019’s A Whole New World along with Zhavia.

Quite interestingly for Styles, however, is that he also ventured into the realm of acting with his debut in Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama that grossed over $526 million worldwide and earned several Oscars awards.

The budding actor had been rumored to have been looking for a new acting bit for quite some time now after his success in Dunkirk and even auditioned for the lead in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic. That part went to Austin Butler earlier this week.

Nevertheless, the British singer and actor have captivated his fans through his talented singing career and charismatic acting on the big screen (all on top of his prince charming good looks) that quickly convinced people on Twitter that he would be an excellent Prince Eric.

LMFAO ok if harry styles is cast in a live action of the little mermaid I apologize to everyone in the theater who’s going to have to hear me groan every five minutes muttering “he’s so hot”

— brandy (@brandaliine) July 16, 2019

GIVE HARRY STYLES THAT DAMN ROLE I DESERVE TO SEE THAT

— rabia (@sincerelyrabia) July 16, 2019

In contrast, in the 1989 original animated movie, Prince Eric voiced then by Christopher Daniel Barnes, didn’t have any musical moments. Prince Eric was the man Ariel decided to fall love in first sight with after saving him from drowning.

Furthermore, he was simply Ariel’s prince charming who she deliberately bargained her excellent voice and tale with Ursula in exchange for legs to meet and spend time. However, the prince does make a key role in defeating Ursula in the end.

Related: Will Melissa McCarthy Play Ursula In ‘The Little Mermaid’ Live Re-Make?

Styles’ imminent casting for the role says otherwise for how Prince Eric will be seen in the upcoming live-action remake. Primarily, Disney has already announced its cast for Ariel with Halle Bailey, who’s a protege of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as a member of R&B duo Chloe x Halle.

In other words, Disney is seemingly taking a more musical-focused direction with The Little Mermaid soon. Add that to the fact that Disney’s favorite musical genius will again lead the musical scores in The Little Mermaid, Alan Menken, who has produced some of the classics such as Be Our GuestBelle from Beauty and the Beast (1991), A Whole New World, and Friend Like Me from Aladdin (1992).

Recently, Menken collaborated on the remakes live-action songs. Reportedly, he will also give new twists with his songs for The Little Mermaid live-action movie such as Oscar-winning Under the SeaPart of Your World, and Kiss the Girl.

Also, helping Menken with the songs (and probably new songs) is Lin-Manuel Miranda and La La Land producer Marc Platt.

There is a significant possibility that Prince Eric finally gets to sing in the live remake version and who knows, Menken might probably make new songs to suit the singing Prince Eric-Ariel tandem.

Can’t wait to hear the soundtrack for #TheLittleMermaid if @Harry_Styles styles is casted as Prince Eric and confirmed Ariel @HalleBailey it’s gonna be amazing pic.twitter.com/eqLp1l9XKk

— princess 👑💋 (@princesspucker) July 16, 2019

I’m personally not a fan of the Disney remakes but the thought of seeing halle bailey and harry styles together as ariel and eric makes me so fucking excited 

— Madisen (@frenchietoth) July 16, 2019

Rob Marshall will be taking the helm of the live-action movie as the director. The director is not new to working with Walt Disney Studios movies as he also directed Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Into the Woods. Meanwhile, David Magee wrote the latest script for the reboot after Jane Goldman.

The Little Mermaid live-action movie follows after Disney’s latest move with other classics such as the recently-released AladdinBeauty and the Beast, Dumbo, and most recently, The Lion King which stars Donald Glover as Simba and Beyoncé as Nala.

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