For years, Star Trek fans who were also Netflix subscribers had at least one big reason to be happy. You were once able to find all of the Trek series — and a good chunk of the films — on streaming on Netflix. But recent months have seen Trek leaving the streamer faster than a Romulan fleet retreating from a supernova, and the newest victim is one of the most beloved series — Star Trek: The Next Generation. Less than a month from now, Captain Picard and his stalwart crew will exit the streamer at warp speed.
Specifically, Star Trek: The Next Generation will no longer be watchable on Netflix as of Saturday, April 2. What’s on Netflix reports the departure, as well as the reason: the licensing deal between Netflix and Paramount is expiring. This is also why Star Trek: The Animated Series left the streamer in 2019, and why Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Star Trek: Voyager left last October. Once TNG leaves Netflix next month, the only series left from the franchise will be Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It isn’t known when DS9 will follow the other series off the streamer, though What’s on Netflix suggests that since it was licensed to stream on Netflix in January 2016 that — should it follow the calendar of the other series — it may depart in January 2023.
All of the Trek series that have left or will soon leave Netflix behind, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, are currently streamable on Paramount+. Not to mention Paramount’s service has newer series like Discovery, Prodigy, Lower Decks, and soon Strange New Worlds. It seems likely this is why there’s been no renewal of the deal between Paramount and Netflix. With Paramount putting all of its proverbial eggs into the streaming basket, it makes sense from a competitive standpoint for the studio to keep all of its Trek shows on its own service. While Paramount+ isn’t currently playing at Netflix’s level, with each new Star Trek series it adds — along with the growing list of Yellowstone spin-offs as well as the upcoming Halo series — it threatens to become that much more of a formidable contender in the streaming wars.
Since its premiere in 1987, Star Trek: The Next Generation has lived up to the promise of its predecessor and then some. Spanning 7 seasons and 177 episodes, TNG spawned four movies as well as paving the way for the conception of DS9 and Voyager. It remains one of the most beloved series of the franchise, and in 2020 its captain returned to the small screen with Star Trek: Picard, whose second season premiered in the beginning of March.
One of the biggest differences between Star Trek: The Next Generation and the current crop of shows is the more episodic nature of TNG. While DS9 was the first of the Trek series to use a more serial format, it wasn’t until the 2017 premiere of Discovery that it became the norm. For fans of more standalone storytelling, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds — premiering on Paramount+ on Thursday, May 5 — promises a return to more episodic Trek.