Details are starting to trickle in about Netflix's (NAS: NFLX) revival of Arrested Development that will stream exclusively through the video service next year.
Series creator Mitch Hurwitz, Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos, and several members of the Arrested Development cast took to the stage on Tuesday in a Netflix-sponsored event during the National Association of Broadcasters convention.
We already knew that the series would air next year, but here are some new tidbits that were revealed:
- All 10 episodes of what will be the fourth season of the cult favorite will be made available at the same time, just as Netflix did with Lilyhammer -- its first original series -- two months ago.
- The original plan was to have each episode offer a storyline for a single show character, but the series will now be more in line with the earlier episodes.
- Hurwitz has not ruled out following this up with a fifth and sixth season, and confirmed that CBS' (NYS: CBS) Showtime did try to acquire the show, but Hurwitz finally went with Netflix.
Netflix is really doing it. The company is really taking on Showtime and Time Warner's (NYS: TWX) HBO with an impressive slate of original content.
Sarandos didn't reveal any viewership metrics for Lilyhammer, but he did say that a second season was in the works.
There will be even more excitement for this summer's House of Cards, headed up by David Fincher and Kevin Spacey. A recent addition is Hemlock Grove -- a horror series directed by Hostel creator Eli Roth -- that will have a 13-episode run early next year. Arrested Development will then be the fourth original content series, and that's if nothing happens between now and then.
You never know. Talented content creators that either can't get the funds they need or the directorial freedom they crave may begin flocking to Netflix the way that Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, and other terrestrial radio renegades gravitated to Sirius XM Radio (NAS: SIRI) .
Sirius XM has it easier, of course. It really just has to stand out against the restrictive and regulated nature of traditional AM and FM radio. Of course it's going to draw the magnetic stars that color outside the lines. Netflix competes against HBO and Showtime that have far looser standards and programming restrictions than over-the-air networks.
Netflix can be the next great premium channel, and the first built entirely on streaming. And unlike Showtime and HBO, folks won't have to shell out big bucks to a costly cable or satellite television to make it possible.
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