Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On Those (Possibly) Expiring BBC Titles

(1/16 update: Many of these titles have now been renewed, including all of Dr. Who. See next post for the full rundown.)

There's been a lot of buzz in the last 24 hours regarding the large block of BBC shows scheduled to expire from Netflix Instant on the 31st (and which have been listed here for over a week). Sources as diverse as The Huffington Post, CNN, MTV News, and Vulture have all referenced this site's expiration list, which has been awesome, but it's also led to some minor confusion. So, to address any questions some of you might have:

If you don't see it listed, it's probably safe

Not every streaming BBC show is marked to expire. Programs such as Sherlock, Doc Martin, Merlin, and Ripper Street, for example, look to be safe (for now). If there's a specific title you're worried about that you don't see here, just search for it on Netflix's website, then hover your cursor over the thumbnail like so:

See that availability date? It will also be listed on the show's main info page, down on the right beneath Streaming Details:

If there's no availability date, then you're okay (again—for now!). As longtime readers know, this isn't always a foolproof test, since Netflix can be cagey about revealing such dates. But for this block of shows (and TV series in general), it's usually accurate. (Movies, of course, are another matter...)

Not all the BBC shows made this site's "official" list

As I often point out, this is a curated blog, so I only list those titles I feel are most significant. However, additional titles can always be found in the comments section, which is where I often look to compile my own lists. So always scroll through the comments to see what else may be on the chopping block. In the case of the BBC shows, a January 4 post by Anonymous covers most of those in question, but I've also put together a consolidated list of everything below.

Are all these titles really going away?

According to sources elsewhere, Netflix is apparently hard at work trying to hammer out a new agreement with the BBC so that these shows can be renewed soon (if not necessarily in time for the 2/1 deadline). My own feeling is, considering that series are fast becoming Netflix's bread and butter (something like three quarters of all streaming are TV shows), it would be crazy of them to let all these programs expire for good. And when you consider the backlash that would result from losing fan favorites like Dr. Who, Fawlty Towers, Luther, Coupling, and Top Gear, it would be a serious oversight indeed—especially if Amazon Prime and Hulu continue to offer many of these.

Add to that the long-term relationship Netflix has maintained with the BBC, plus the recent high-profile additions of shows like Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror, and I'm betting this won't be the last you see of Messrs. Cleese, Palin, Who, et al. In the meantime, it probably wouldn't hurt to finish whatever series you've already started, and queue up as many others as time allows. After all: better safe than sorry.

Complete list of shows marked to expire 2/1 (1/31):

(Update: Marked-through titles have officially been renewed.)

All Creatures Great and Small
Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State
Big Cat Diary
A Bit of Fry and Laurie
Black Adder
Bleak House
The Blue Planet
The Bucaneers
Canterbury's Law
The Catherine Tate Show
Chased by Dinosaurs
Come Fly with Me
Creature Comforts America
Daniel Deronda
David Attenborough: Wildlife Specials
Doctor Who (1964-1989)
Doctor Who (2005-2012)
Elizabeth R
Fawlty Towers
Gavin and Stacy
He Knew He Was Right
House of Cards (1990-1995)
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries
Invasion Earth
Jane Eyre
Keeping Up Appearances
The League of Gentlemen
The Life of Birds
The Life of Mammals
Little Britain
Mansfield Park
Micheal Palin: Himalaya
Michael Palin: New Europe
Michael Palin: Sahara
Miss Marple (1984-1986 collections)
Monarch of the Glen
The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries
North and South
The Planets
Pompeii: The Last Day
Pride and Prejudice
Red Dwarf
Robin Hood
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
The State Within
Top Gear
The Vicar of Dibley
Waiting for God
Waking the Dead
Walking with Beasts
Walking with Cave Men
Walking with Dinosaurs
Walking with Monsters
The Way We Live Now
Wild China
Wives and Daughters
Yellowstone: Battle for Life

Thanks to all you Anonymouses (Anonymi?) who contributed to this list. If you see any I've left off, please feel free to add below.


Achernar said...

I just noticed myself that David Attenborough: Wildlife Specials and The Blue Planet are no longer listed as expiring. I hope that it is really true. I just finished The Life of Birds so that leaves The Life of Mammals which happens to be available on Hulu Plus (but with commercials) along with The Blue Planet and several other David Attenborough and Michael Palin series that aren't on Netflix.

I wish at least one of them would add Palin's Full Circle and Brazil.

Anonymous said...

Nooooo, red dwarf!

Anonymous said...

I like Doctor Who, but Red Dwarf is the shit. I'll be pretty bummed if it goes offline.

Anonymous said...

Doc Martin isn't BBC

Anonymous said...

In the UK it's made and broadcast by ITV. BBC Worldwide has international distribution rights, though, so it comes with the Beeb's other stuff.

David Speranza said...

But...Doc Martin was never on the list.

Ventum Mingit said...

David, I think "Pompeii: The Last Day" is still set to expire.

David Speranza said...

You're right. I noted that on the more recent post without updating this one. I'll do so now.