After years of wishing it were so, it’s now a reality. Arrested Development, the critically-acclaimed and Emmy-winning but low-rated comedy that aired for three seasons on FOX from 2003-2006, will return with a new season of episodes — but only online for subscribers of Netflix.
As star Jason Bateman wrote on his Twitter feed Friday, “Netflix is gassing up the staircar! I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to wear a pair of khakis.”
From the press release that went out late Friday:
“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,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “It’s also a perfect example of how broad and successful our relationship has become with Fox as we work together with their film, television, international and digital divisions on several exciting initiatives.”
“Netflix’s bold entrance into original programming presents an exciting new opportunity for our two companies” commented Peter Levinsohn, Fox Filmed Entertainment’s President of New Media & Digital Distribution. “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.”
Commented 20th Century Fox TV Chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman, “We build brands at this studio which are so distinctive that audiences still clamor for them years after they go off the air. ‘Arrested Development’ is a great example of that – it has stood the test of time. This innovative deal with Netflix represents a new business model that is extremely exciting and opens the door for a wide range of new collaborations.”
Imagine Entertainment co-founders Ron Howard and Brian Grazer 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. Bringing a series back from cancellation almost never happens, but then, ‘Arrested’ always was about as unconventional as they get, so it seems totally appropriate that this show that broke the mold is smashing it to pieces once again.”
Added Howard, “After a long hiatus, I’m dying to finally get back to the narrator’s microphone…’It’s Arrested… Development.'”
The tentative plan is to focus each episode of the new online season on a different member of the Bluth family to catch us all up on what they’ve been up to, thereby setting up the film to follow.
That would include Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), his son George Michael (Michael Cera), his father George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), his mother Lucille (Jessica Walter), his brothers “GOB” George Oscar II (Will Arnett), Buster (Tony Hale) and sister Lindsay Funke (Portia de Rossi), and Lindsay’s husband Tobias (David Cross) and their daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat).