Dec 12, 2012

Now With More Bluths! Netflix Orders More ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Like so many others, I came late to the Arrested Development party, only discovering the show (thanks to my wife) on DVD long after it was cancelled.  In case you aren't aware, this show was brilliant and if you haven't seen it yet you should really do something about that.  (It's only three short seasons and they're all streaming on Netflix.)  The Save Our Bluths campaign couldn't stop the show from going off the air, but creator Mitch Hurwitz has succeeded in resurrecting the show from the TV trash heap.

After years of flirting with plans for the feature, Hurwitz instead worked out a deal for a fourth season to be hosted exclusively on Netflix.  What's more, the entire season will go online at once, which will surely lead most fans to mainline the entire season over the course of a weekend.  (That's certainly my plan...)

But late yesterday Netflix announced that they were increasing their season order from 10 episodes to somewhere between 12-15 episodes.  It seems that Hurwitz and company ended up with piles of extra material over the course of production and they've decided that, rather than leave it on the cutting room floor, they'll sketch out a some new story lines and do a few more weeks of shooting early in the new year. They've got plenty of time, since Netflix doesn't plan to launch the show until springtime.

Plenty of other shows "survived" cancellation and returned to become massive hits, with Family Guy and JAG probably considered the gold standard.  The hopes (and expectations) are astronomically high for Arrested Development, but there's really no guarantee that lightning will strike twice.  Then again, the bar for success is much lower in this situation because a) not being on a proper television channel means there are no traditional ratings to contend with and b) Netflix doesn't have any other successful original content and that's a game they desperately want to be in.  I think it's more than likely that, talent contracts/schedules aside, Netflix is going to come looking for a fifth season from the Bluths.

Hopefully they don't jump the banana stand in the process.

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