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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told investors Monday that his company would only broadcast one new season of the cult comedy series, which is being brought back after an original run on Fox that lasted from 2003-06.
The return of the oddball comedy was announced in October 2011, and the next month, Netflix announced that it would exclusively broadcast the 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television series. The Mitch Hurwitz-run show, which stars Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Jeffrey Tambor, will stream 14 episodes on the service this spring.
After that, the series will need to find a new home.
“Arrested is a unique property, we don’t anticipate being able to do season five, six and seven,” Hastings said. “We have less of a stake in it. It is really a fantastic one-off, which is coming together incredibly. I think it will be amazing for us, but think of it as a nonrepeatable amazing, whereas the other thing that we are doing is to trying to figure out a real mechanism where we can build shows and develop franchises over the long term. In that way, Arrested Development is a wildly successful tactic, as opposed to fundamental to the strategy.”
The CEO name-checked several other series that he considered more “fundamental,” including the Ricky Gervais comedy Derek. The company recently debuted House of Cards, its glossy, $100 million political drama led by Kevin Spacey.
A company official told The Wall Street Journal that it would be difficult to reunite again the entire Arrested Development cast, which also includes Porta de Rossi, Jessica Walter, David Cross, Alia Shawkat and Tony Hale. Huwitz has proposed a film continuation of the show, though it remains to see if it will be produced. A Netflix spokesperson later clarified to HitFix that the company would like to produce future Arrested Development seasons, and said that content chief Ted Sarandos would be responsible for working toward that goal.
“We’re hopeful there will be more seasons,” the spokesperson said. “If anyone can pull it together, it’s going to be Ted. But by no means is this the end of it. We’re definitely planning to do more with them. We have first rights, so it’s not like you’d see it anywhere else. We’re absolutely hopeful there will be more.”
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