Late  August  -  October  2018

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Netflix Expiration News : The Frustrating Case of The Missing Picture
August 23, 2018
Yesterday, one of our readers reported that the French film, Young & Beautiful, had disappeared from Netflix streaming. It wasn't scheduled to expire until August 26 (last day to watch was 8/25). Early this morning I verified that it was, indeed, gone, and while researching what might have happened, I came upon some disturbing information.


I was looking on the website, New on Netflix USA. It asked me if I wanted to get a daily listing of what was added and what was removed from Netflix. I clicked "yes," and got the above graphic. Some of the "removed" titles are still streaming, so I'm not sure what that means, but others, such as Young & Beautiful, were, in fact, removed. Also gone (ironically) is The Missing Picture. That was on My List a couple of days ago, and did not have an expiration date. I didn't notice it had disappeared until I saw it listed here.

I'm wondering if Netflix has been removing titles all along without bothering to put an expiration date on them. We do occasionally come across such titles, but only if they are on someone's list, and the person notices they're gone. I now suspect the practice is more common than previously thought.

I'm not sure what to do about this, if anything. If readers report something that has vanished without notice, or before the notice date, I'll make note of it on the list as I've done in the past. But I'm afraid I don't have time to check the daily removals list on New on Netflix USA, and then check to see what's really gone. Of course, any of you who want to know about these titles can check this resource.

I feel frustrated and perplexed by Netflix's lack of quality and care regarding expiring titles. Sadly, I don't expect it to get better.

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Other Open Discussion Pages
When a particular topic generates a lot of discussion, it will be spun off to its own specific Discussion page. Links to open Discussion pages follow. Please feel free to add comments to any of these. If your comments do not fit any of these topics, then please add them here, in the comments section below. 

Netflix DVD Subscription Service - Problems, Questions, Changes
The New Netflix Ratings System of Thumbs Up or Down
Netflix "My List" - Problems/Questions/Changes/Updates
All Things Related to the Netflix-Disney Deal
Issues Around Netflix's Policies Regarding Expiration Notices
Complain About Netflix: Vent, Kvetch, Whine, Grouse - Get It Off Your Chest!

Archived Discussions & Ideas Pages
Previous months of this page have been archived, so you can look at what has gone before. Links to those pages are in the sidebar.

                                                                                                                                                                             
My goal: A blog that looks polished and feels complete (not giving up on this!), and that offers helpful content for all, without detracting from the sacred mission of giving followers as much lead time as possible to watch expiring titles.

Thanks to the many contributors who share their time, knowledge, and expertise to keep the blog interesting, informative, and fresh in a variety of ways. It is truly a collaborative effort, and I'm honored to be part of it.

36 comments:

  1. If you look at Shana's Amazon Prime blog, it's FILLED with long lists of titles expiring without notice, and I truly have no idea how she keeps track of them. But I guess this problem is now migrating to Netflix. Sad.

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    1. at least on amazon the title doesn't leave the watchlist even when it leaves prime without advance notice. because netflix got rid of the saved section of the instant queue, there's no indication on the site what was removed, which i think is even worse. let's hope netflix doesn't follow in prime's footprints with this heinous practice, especially as they already feel they can do anything *insert "5th avenue" sound bite*.

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  2. Disappointed to see The Trip To Italy on that short list of expiring films. Thanks for the lack of warning on that one, Netflix! Interestingly, if you went next to Netflix DVD, there was still a click-button to Watch Now for The Trip To Italy (but it wouldn't for USA subscribers). -- josh

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  3. Carol, thanks for your diligegence in checking out each of the titles listed as expired on the screenshot. I noticed the same list and checked on the status of The Great Train Robbery. When I saw it was still streaming, I assumed the entire list was wrong and didn’t bother to check on the status of The Missing Picture which was also in My List. Very disappointing. In my experience, expirations without ANY notice on Netflix are fairly rare (the exceptions seem to be movies that stream for one or two days, then disappear) so I hope this is not the start of a new trend.

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  4. Yesterday, New on Netflix USA showed 19 titles being removed as of the end of 8/22, including The Thin Blue Line and Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2. So either titles are continuing to be removed without notice or none of us have picked up on the expiration of certain titles.

    Also, to make matters even more confusing, New on Netflix is showing some of the titles on Carol’s screenshot above that never expired as streaming again.

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    1. I'm wondering if some of the "expired" titles we didn't know about are ones that were scheduled for renewal, but that didn't happen until after the expiration date. For example, The Great Train Robbery shows as having been removed on 8/22. When I checked this title, it was gone. But now it's back, and New on Netflix USA shows it as "added" on 8/24. So maybe things are not as bad as I first assumed. Wellesley72, you apparently found The Great Train Robbery streaming prior to 8/24, so maybe dates slosh a bit on the New on Netflix info page. But it was definitely gone when I checked very early a.m. on 8/23. Netflix must add titles throughout the day. That would also account for why things shown as having been removed were back by the time I checked them. Missing Picture is still missing, but I'm hoping it might show up again. Ditto The Trip to Italy. As for Young & Beautiful, Netflix must have got their wires crossed, and we got cheated out of time to watch before expiration.

      I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know about this page at New on Netflix USA. I'm going to keep an eye on it, but only report if something goes missing and doesn't come back (I'll give it a few days). The ones we didn't know about could not have had availability notices, because uNoGS.com would have picked them up. I know for sure The Missing Picture didn't have a notice. Oy! You're killin' me, Netflix.

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    2. Sure enough, The Thin Blue Line and Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2 are back streaming on Netflix. Some of the others, like Perfect Sisters and Hank: Five Years from the Brink, are not (at least yet). At least they are not—yet—pulling TV shows without notice!

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  5. Young and Beautiful is now streaming on Hulu.

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  6. Young & Beautiful and The Trip to Italy are now back on Netflix. Still waiting for The Missing Picture. I'm relieved that this problem isn't as catastrophic as I first thought, but still annoyed at Netflix's inability to get it together. Apparently, they're too busy with much more important things like giving my profile avatar purple hair.

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  7. The Missing Picture is back.

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  8. I've been having the strange problem of Netflix randomly *adding* a movie to my streaming 'My List' queue. Just yesterday I say they added the movie 'Day One' to the bottom of my queue. This has happened a few times before. Makes me wonder if they're removing one of my movies I had there and replacing it with another one? If so, that's not cool ha ha. I may have to start taking screen grabs of my queue as a precaution to make sure no funny business is going on. Anybody else have that issue?

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    1. Here are some reasons this could be happening:
      > A movie you had on your list before it expired has now returned to streaming. It will automatically re-appear on your list, sometimes at the bottom, sometimes in the middle.
      > There is a limit to how many titles you can have on My List (used to be 500, then it went to 400, not sure what the current limit is). Anyway, when you go over the limit, the bottom title disappears. If you later delete a title, then the extras re-appear at the bottom.
      > Netflix adds its own recommendations for you to the Netflix Suggests version of My List. I didn't think they did this for the manual version, but not impossible.

      By the way, Day One isn't currently streaming, so not sure how it could have been there, unless it was another one of Netflix's hiccups - always a possibility.

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    2. oops - sorry it was 'Year One' that appeared. Thanks for all the ways that could happen. For my situation, I only have about 19 movies in 'My List' queue so total # of titles is not the issue. I had already watched 'Year One', so I know it was removed from my queue a long time ago (bad movie by the way ha ha). Could be the last option where Netflix Suggests randomly put one of its suggestions in my queue. Strange no matter what! Thanks again for the incredible work you do along with those who always try and help out with this daily blog. :-)

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    3. could you perhaps have streamed it on netflix and then forgotten to remove it from your list? i watch movies outside of netflix streaming, and sometimes years later the same movies will appear on My List because i never removed them before they expired earlier. it used to be easy to see these when there were still star ratings because i'd have rated them after watching them some other way.

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    4. Year One returned to Netflix on the 21st, so Travis' idea makes sense. Netflix is inexplicable is also always a valid theory. :-)

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    5. Travis, your theory coinciding with one of Carol's theories makes the most sense. Thanks! But I'm still partially holding out on the 'Netflix is inexplicable' theory as well ha ha. Appreciate you all!

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  9. To summarize developments since this page was put up, it seems it was all a Netflix glitch and/or misinformation from New on Netflix USA and there really isn't a new expiration-without-notice problem? Nothing we thought was gone was REALLY gone? Is that right?

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    1. That seems to be the case. For 8/22 and 8/23, New on Netflix USA reported a bunch of titles removed that we had no notice for. I admit I panicked a bit. In the next few days, removals that were surprises got added back to streaming. I know all the 8/22 titles came back, but I haven't checked for all the 8/23 titles yet. I'm assuming they did, but I will double-check. I will also add something to the main body of this page that explains what happened.

      For the future, I'm going to keep an eye on the daily listing of removals to make sure nothing really does expire that we didn't have notice for, because that does occasionally happen.

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    2. There are still four of the unexpectedly removed titles that have not yet come back, all from India:
      Adventures of Omanakuttan
      The Great Father
      Kaattu
      Solo (Malayalam version) - the Tamil version IS currently streaming

      These were all removed on 8/23, so it has been several days. None of them should have legitimately expired, because they were all fairly new to streaming. Not sure what's going on - could be they were added by mistake in the first place, just haven't been added back yet, got forgotten, or who knows?

      I'll wait a while longer before putting them on the official list as gone.

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  10. Did Young & Beautiful come back, only to expire on the day it was originally set to expire? I don't find it. I did see comment it's on Hulu; just wondering about NF. Thanks.

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  11. Yes. It was back for one day only. It’s no longer on Netflix.

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  12. Having issues with naruto, was set for removal, then stated renewed but for me only 5 episodes available for s1 out of about 52 none would play stating wrong region U.S. S2 showed 21 out of 50 something I was able to get a few to play but not the first couple where I had left off, s3 showed 31 of about 50 I think and played seemingly normal.

    Rebooting/restarted a few times now only shows s3 with 31 eps and plays but s1 & 2 are gone.

    Anyone know if they only renewed s3 or if this is a common thing that'll be fixed later?

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  13. Free State of Jones is available on streaming now, but if you search it through the DVD side it doesn't show the 'Play' button.

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  14. Finally after who knows how long, "Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014)" has reappeared on my list, so now I can finally finish watching it. I was half way through when it expired on me (sigh).... I'm usually sooo careful to make sure to watch a movie way before that 2am EST cut off time too.

    One real annoying thing about these streaming services is that when a movie does reappear on my list, nothing notifies me, so there's no way to know unless I happen to spot it, especially since I have a ton of movies and shows on the watchlist.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, sorry for the late reply. I'm glad one of your movies came back - that's always a nice surprise. Some readers regularly check in with one of the websites that put up a daily list of what's been added to Netflix. One example is shown in the body of this page (scroll almost all the way to the top). Here are the urls of three of the most popular:
      New on Netflix (USA) (shown above): https://usa.newonnetflix.info/
      instantwatcher: https://instantwatcher.com/new?content_type=1+2+3&days_available=0-30&sort=available_from+desc
      uNoGS: http://unogs.com/countrydetail/ (scroll down the countries to the United States, and click on New Videos)

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  15. Every 10 years, starting in 1952, Sight and Sound (published by the British Film Institute) conducts an international poll of film critics of the 10 greatest films of all time. While any such list is arbitrary, the Sight and Sound list is considered to be pretty respectable. It is why Citizen Kane is usually called the greatest film of all time (though it lost to Vertigo in 2012). At the very least it is a good starting point to begin the exploration of world cinema.

    Starting in 1992, they split off a separate directors’ poll. For the 2012 polls, the critics’ poll surveyed 846 critics, programmers, academics, and distributors from around the globe, and the directors' poll was based on 358 directors and filmmakers. Of the ten polls conducted so far, 43 films have made the top ten.

    The following list contains the 43 films that have made the top ten, the first poll for which the film was selected (with a “D” indicating the directors’ poll), the number of polls in which it was selected, the average rank, the year the film was released and the film’s director. There are also columns for FilmStruck and Netflix. A “©” in the FilmStruck column indicates that the film is part of the permanent collection on the Criterion Channel side of the service. An “F” indicates that the film has previously appeared (or is currently) on either side of FilmStruck. An “N” in the Netflix column indicates that the film has previously appeared (or is currently) on Netflix. This information is based upon memory and covers the period since I first joined Netflix in 2013 and FilmStruck in mid 2017 and may be incomplete or have errors.

    If you are interested in FilmStruck, see my review in the Streaming Services Guide section of this blog.

    Title,First poll,Number of polls,Average rank,Year,Director,FilmStruck,Netflix
    2001: A Space Odyssey,1992,4,6.0,1968,Stanley Kubrick,,N
    8½,1972,7,5.3,1963,Federico Fellini,©,N
    Apocalypse Now ,2012D,1,6.0,1979,Francis Ford Coppola,,N
    Battleship Potemkin ,1952,6,5.3,1925,Sergei Eisenstein,©,N
    Bicycle Thieves,1952,4,6.0,1948,Vittorio De Sica,©,N
    Brief Encounter,1952,1,10.0,1945,David Lean,©,
    Citizen Kane,1962,9,1.2,1941,Orson Welles,F,
    City Lights ,1952,1,2.0,1931,Charlie Chaplin,©,
    Dr. Strangelove,2002D,1,5.0,1964,Stanley Kubrick,F,N
    Greed ,1952,2,5.5,1924,Erich von Stroheim,F,
    Intolerance ,1952,1,5.0,1916,D. W. Griffith,,N
    Ivan the Terrible ,1962,1,7.0,1944,Sergei Eisenstein,©,
    La Strada,1992D,1,4.0,1954,Federico Fellini,©,
    La Terra Trema,1962,1,9.0,1948,Luchino Visconti,F,
    L'Atalante ,1962,3,7.0,1934,Jean Vigo,©,
    L'Avventura ,1962,3,4.7,1960,Michelangelo Antonioni,©,
    Lawrence of Arabia,2002D,1,4.0,1962,David Lean,F,N
    Le Jour Se Lève,1952,1,7.0,1939,Marcel Carne,,
    Le Million ,1952,1,10.0,1931,Rene Clair,©,
    Louisiana Story,1952,1,5.0,1948,Robert J Flaherty,,
    Man with a Movie Camera,2012,1,8.0,1929,Dziga Vertov,F,N
    Mirror ,2012D,1,9.0,1975,Andrei Tarkovsky,©,
    Modern Times,1992D,1,6.0,1936,Charlie Chaplin,©,
    Pather Panchali ,1992,1,6.0,1955,Satyajit Ray,©,
    Persona,1972,1,5.0,1966,Ingmar Bergman,©,
    Raging Bull,1992D,2,4.5,1980,Martin Scorsese,,N
    Rashomon,1992D,2,9.5,1950,Akira Kurosawa,©,
    Seven Samurai,1982,3,7.3,1954,Akira Kurosawa,©,
    Singin' in the Rain,1982,2,6.5,1952,"Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly",F,
    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans,2002,2,6.0,1927,F. W. Murnau,F,
    Taxi Driver ,2012D,1,5.0,1970,Martin Scorsese,F,N
    The General,1972,2,9.0,1926,"Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton",,N
    The Godfather,1992D,4,4.8,1972,Francis Ford Coppola,,N
    The Godfather Part II ,1992D,3,5.0,1974,Francis Ford Coppola,,N
    The Gold Rush,1952,1,2.0,1925,Charlie Chaplin,©,
    The Magnificent Ambersons,1972,2,7.5,1942,Orson Welles,,
    The Passion of Joan of Arc ,1952,5,7.8,1928,Carl Theodor Dreyer,©,
    The Rules of the Game,1952,8,4.4,1939,Jean Renoir,©,
    The Searchers ,1982,3,7.3,1956,John Ford,F,
    Tokyo Story ,1992,4,3.0,1953,Yasujiro Ozu,©,
    Ugetsu ,1962,2,7.0,1953,Kenji Mizoguchi,©,
    Vertigo ,1982,7,4.7,1958,Alfred Hitchcock,,
    Wild Strawberries ,1972,1,10.0,1957,Ingmar Bergman,©,

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  16. i just want to commend Carol for her usual good sense. someone can guess a lot of expiration dates from when the titles were most recently added. that isn't a certainty, even if it follows a known pattern. confirmation from netflix one way or another is about as certain as it gets. Carol has left the comments for now so those who want to get a jump on that movie can see the speculation, which may well prove factual later. we know all disney movies are leaving eventually anyway so at some point before 2020 those who want to stream these titles should get to all of them, it making sense to start with those that have been on the longest. no need to speculate in the meantime on the exact timing in a fact-based resource.

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  17. i can't tell if Acme is on the autism spectrum, trolling, or just rude, but i hope he understands you are not working for netflix and everyone here is a customer like him, except most of us are not using proxies to watch netflix content from abroad. you are far too kind answering requests. no one would blame you if you just deleted them without answering. i guess i find myself having to commend you once more because my patience would have wore out by the 2nd or 3rd request (and indeed has as a reader and occasional contributor).

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    1. Thanks Travis, I'm definitely of two minds about this kind of thing, and one of them is exactly like yours. But I tend to be more forgiving when readers DO occasionally come up with titles we don't have. Finding movies more than a week out is a lot more work than it used to be, so I'm willing to put up with a little inconvenience if it means we'll get more titles sooner. If queries start to feel out of control, I'll take care of it.

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    2. I am on the autism spectrum and I know my limit on rants which is why Carol created the complaints section.

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    3. that's why i suspect this person may simply be trolling, taking advantage of Carol's good nature and the spirit out of this blog.

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  18. I found this article and thought it was interesting. I'd be curious to know if it will be more like how Netflix does the trailers for its originals or ads like you'd see on TV. I'm also curious if it will be on all the tiers or the limited ads tier. I wonder what impact this could have on Netflix.
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/4/18125946/att-directtv-hulu-pause-ads-streaming-tv-revenue

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  19. I think Hulu is talking about paid ads, presumably for their limited commercial service. If they start running any types of ads, including trailers, for their commercial-free service, they lose me as a customer. I don’t believe these ads-during-pauses (whatever that means) will have any impact on Netflix. I have seen trailer-type ads before playing an episode of an Amazon Prime Original, and I find these to be incredibly annoying. (HBO and Showtime do the same thing on occasion.)I think Netflix experimented with this kind of an ad as a way of getting people to look at their less widely known originals, and people hated it. If I am paying for a commercial-free service, I don’t want any commercials (including trailers) unless I want to see them.

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    1. I agree I have zero interest in there new stupid Ms Marple mature garbage show yet they show it when I watch a prime movie or prime TV show. I know I can skip which I do but it is still annoying.

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