Netflix to bring back 'Arrested Development'
Netflix has made another big programming move, striking a deal to bring back from the dead the critically acclaimed Fox series "Arrested Development."
The quirky ensemble show, which lasted only three seasons but won an Emmy Award for best comedy, followed the antics of the morally challenged Bluth family. The series, whose stars included Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera and Portia de Rossi, was cancelled five years ago, it continued to find new fans via DVDs and reruns.
The show is expected to return with new episodes in the first half of 2013. The entire cast is expected to return, a person close to the project said. There has also been talk of making an "Arrested Development" movie as well, but so far no definite plan for that has emerged. There is no word yet as to how many episodes Netflix will order.
Netflix has been making a push into more original content in part to combat the rising cost of the movies and reruns of TV shows it counts on now. It is also making the political drama "House of Cards," to star Kevin Spacey.
" 'Arrested Development' is one of the finest American comedies in TV history and its return through Netflix is a perfect example of how we are working closely with studios and networks to provide consumers with entertainment they love,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.
Netflix struck the deal for new episodes for its streaming service with Twentieth Century Fox Television, the News Corp.-owned unit that originally co-produced the show for its sister network Fox along with Imagine Entertainment.
“Bringing a classic show back to production on new episodes exclusively for Netflix customers is a game changer, and illustrates the incredible potential the new digital landscape affords great content providers like Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine," said Peter Levinsohn, Fox Filmed Entertainment’s President of New Media & Digital Distribution.
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, whose Imagine TV co-produced "Arrested Development" with Fox, said, "Of all the projects we’ve been involved with over the years, we probably get more questions about Mitch Hurtwitz’s brilliant ‘Arrested Development’ than any other -- everyone, ourselves included, seems to feel like the Bluths left the party a bit too soon." Howard also voiced the narrator for the series.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Jeffrey Tambor, left, and Jason Bateman in "Arrested Development." Credit: Fox