The “Arrested Development” comeback looks to be heading towards more development. Netflix said Monday it would be “delighted to produce” another go-round of the former Fox series that it revived in late May.
In a letter to shareholders, Netflix indicated “fan reaction” has been positive enough it’s interested in launching a fifth season, if given the opportunity. Hurdles would include a financially favorable deal with producers and perhaps core actors wanting to return.
But Netflix going public with its desire might signal it has some sense all parties would be on board and its acquisition costs would be beneficial.
The company attributed higher-than-expected subscriber growth in the second quarter to the show. Net additions for streaming customers in the U.S. came in at 100,000 more than a year ago. "Arrested Development” helped generate a “small, but noticeable bump in membership when we released it,” the shareholder letter said
Netflix said the series’ “strong brand and fan base” were behind its success as it took the unusual step of citing a particular show as helping attract customers: “Other great shows don’t have that noticeable effect in their first season because they are less established.”
Netflix has ordered second seasons of its four other originals besides “Arrested Development,” which Fox nixed in 2006.
Netflix also said it will be moving into new genres with originals, including documentaries and stand-up comedy
That sounds a lot like HBO -- a brand Netflix hopes to emulate. Netflix finished the April-June period with close to 30 million U.S. streaming customers, perhaps a tad higher than HBO's customer level.