The first Netflix Original Series, Lilyhammer, is being taken down

All three seasons of the Netflix television series Lilyhammer will be leaving the streaming service next month on November 21, 2022. You might be wondering what’s the big deal about this particular show leaving Netflix, especially if you’ve never heard of it before now.

After all, don’t shows appear and leave on the streaming platform all the time? Every month there is a whole batch of content that leaves Netflix due to expiring contracts.

What makes Lilyhammer so special? Well, Lilyhammer was the first show to be considered an Original Netflix Series.

Shortly before the release of high profile shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix struck a deal to have the exclusive rights to the series for several different territories back in 2011. The show would air on Netflix starting in February of 2012.

While the show did air in Norway before its debut on Netflix (the series is set in Norway), for the past decade, it has been considered to be the first official original series from Netflix. This distinction now makes up over half of the Netflix library.

What is Lilyhammer about?

Lilyhammer is the story of Frank Tagliano, an ex-gangster who has to go into witness protection after having testified against his former mob buddies. Unfortunately for him, witness protection has him winding up in a tiny town in Norway, leading to all kinds of fish out of water culture clashes.

But wait, how can an original Netflix series be leaving? Wasn’t the whole point of Netflix doing original series’ was that they’d always be available on the streaming service?

It turns out that there are several different types of Netflix originals. Many of the shows are considered to be Netflix originals not because Netflix paid to have the shows created, but rather they paid to have the exclusive licensing to the show.

These licensing deals can expire. It’s worth noting that Lilyhammer is being removed from the service exactly eight years to the day after the final season was uploaded.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, Lilyhammer is joining a list of more than sixty titles of Netflix Originals that can no longer be viewed on Netflix.

You may not have heard of a lot of these, with many being programming from other countries that didn’t get as big of a marketing push as some of Netflix’s other titles. But there are still a surprising number of high-profile projects that have been added to this list.

The entire lineup of Marvel shows on Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, The Defenders) has been removed and can be found on Disney+. Other titles such as Hemlock Grove and Nick Offerman’s standup special American Ham are no longer available either.

It seems that the Netflix Original branding doesn’t have the permeance that you may have been led to believe.

Where can I watch the show now?

So, what happens to Lilyhammer now? Well, technically Netflix still has the option to renew the rights to the show and continue streaming it.

Although there have been notices indicating that the series is set to be removed from the service, as it’s not likely that Netflix is planning to renew. If that’s the case, then the rights to the series will revert back to SevenOne International and Red Arrow Studios, the two studios responsible for the original production for the show.

They will then have the option of shopping the show around, to see if there is interest from any other service to get a chance to stream the very first Netflix original show.

Have you watched Lilyhammer? How do you feel about the series leaving Netflix?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!