The long-talked-about return of “Arrested Development” is finally happening.
Netflix and 20th Century Fox TV finalized a deal Friday (Nov. 18) that will bring the comedy series back for new episodes in the first half of 2013. They’ll be available not on a conventional TV channel but on Netflix’s streaming service.
Creator Mitch Hurwitz first floated the idea of producing new episodes in early October, adding to the years-long talk about producing a feature film based on the Emmy-winning FOX series. That deal still has yet to be made, but Hurwitz said in October that he’d like to do the movie after the new episodes run.
There’s one pretty good-sized caveat to the news: Deals with the cast aren’t done yet. Variety reports, however, that all the series regulars have said they’re interested in returning — which is not a big surprise considering their enthusiasm for the movie project.
At least one person, though, is already in: Executive producer Ron Howard, who also narrated the show, says “After a long hiatus, I’m dying to finally get back to the narrator’s microphone…’It’s Arrested … Development.'”
“‘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,” says Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer.
Howard and fellow exec producer Brian Grazer say in a statement, “Of all the projects we’ve been involved with over the years, we probably get more questions about … ‘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.”
By the time the new “Arrested” episodes do arrive on Netflix, it will have been seven years since the last episode aired on FOX in 2006.
What do you think of the news?