By Sahil Patel
Netflix is in discussions with the producers of “Arrested Development” for another season of the critically acclaimed comedy series, which it resurrected for a 15-episode run earlier this spring.
Per a Bloomberg report, producer Brian Grazer, he of the crazy hair and Imagine Entertainment, in an interview with Bloomberg Television said his production company is “in conversations” with Netflix to do another season. “They are interested in doing that,” he said. The interview was conducted in Sun Valley, Idaho, the site of the annual Allen & Co. conference.
This is not new information. Apparently, while attending the AFI Tribute to Mel Brooks last month, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz said that if the producers are able to align all of the moving parts (as in: get the cast back together), the show would likely come back to Netflix.
In fact, in a comment to CNET, Netflix spokesperson Joris Evers essentially said that Netflix’s interest in another season of “Arrested Development” is not new information. “We have said before that we’d be interested in doing another season of ‘Arrested Development’ if it is logistically possible,” he said. “That’s still true; we have nothing new to report.”
Move along, nothing to see here.
Except this is kind of an about-face from Netflix. Earlier this year, CEO Reed Hastings had said that Netflix’s deal with the producers of “Arrested Development” was pretty much a one-season deal. Then in May, Hastings said in an interview with CNBC that “if the talent were willing to do more and interested in that, I’m sure we would be willing.”
What changed? Netflix famously refuses to disclose viewing data, but a logical person would guess that Netflix was very pleased with how many people watched the fourth season. Couple that with the attention the company received for bringing the show back, and it doesn’t take an analyst/therapist to figure out why Netflix would want to bring the show back.
The critical response to the fourth season was lukewarm at best, which Sarandos responded to by pointing out how Netflix viewers rated the new season. Eighty-five percent of those who had rated the new season of “Arrested Development” had given it a four- or five-star rating, Sarandos told TheWrap in an interview at the end of May. To be fair, the fourth season was published on May 26, and those comments were made three days later. So it’s safe to assume that most of the people Sarandos was referring to were super-fans who were going to love the show no matter what.
Nevertheless, it’s the only internal information we have to go on. Well, that and the fact that, yes, it’s true, Netflix is thinking of bringing “Arrested Development” back.
Which really means that until we hear more from the company, just move along, there’s nothing to see here.