Arrested Development, cancelled in 2006, could be revived on Netflix

Arrested Development is coming back, creator Mitchell Hurwitz said over the weekend. And it could be coming straight to Netflix.

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    Arrested Development could soon be coming to Netflix. Here, a scene from a 2003 episode of Arrested Development.
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In 2006, Fox pulled the plug on Arrested Development, a cult favorite sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz, and starring Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Will Arnett, and Portia de Rossi. But according to Hurwitz, this show could soon get a second life – first as a limited-run television series, and then as a full-fledged feature film. Speaking at the New Yorker Festival on Sunday, Hurwitz said the TV run would serve as a kind of prelude to the movie.

"[I]n working on the screenplay, I found even if I just gave five minutes per character to that back story, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together. And that kinda gave birth to this thing we’ve not been pursuing for a while and we’re kinda going public with a little bit. We’re trying to do kind of limited run series into the movie," Hurwitz said, the New York Times reports.

The TV series would run 9 or 10 episodes, with each episode revolving around one character. Hurwitz said the first episode would center on Buster, a character played by actor Tony Hale. The question, of course, is where the show will run. Over at Entertainment Weekly, Lynette Rice says that the Arrested Development producers are in talks with Showtime and Netflix "about airing a limited number of original episodes."

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Netflix, of course, has weathered a harrowing few weeks. First, the company raised its rates, angering plenty of customers, and then in September, CEO Reed Hastings announced he would split the Netflix business into two separate arms – a DVD rental platform called Qwikster, and a streaming video service that will retain the name Netflix. Kwame Opam of Gizmodo writes today that a series like Arrested Development could be exactly what Netflix needs.

"Television is reportedly outpacing movie streaming on the site – thanks to big-name properties like Star Trek and Mad Men, I'm sure," Opam writes. "And the planned 2013 run will probably coincide with when the recently-inked DreamWorks streaming deal will finally come through, creating as close to a critical mass of solid content as Netflix has ever enjoyed." (Netflix is already reportedly weighing the possibility of airing original content.)

"With Arrested Development's built-in fandom," Opam adds, "the new season could very well see the kind of popularity that they never enjoyed on Fox, and Netflix will be galvanized to look for even more great content."

Netflix is already positioning itself as the next HBO. Back in March, Netflix confirmed that it acquired the rights to 26-episodes of a new TV show called "House of Cards." The drama stars Kevin Spacey; the director is David Fincher, the Oscar-nominated auteur behind The Social Network. The series will be exclusive to Netflix within the US and Canada.

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