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"Arrested Development" Comeback Officially a Go

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 31, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 31, 2012 |

Now I’m going to temper this news with the caveat that some member of the cast or crew has been saying that another season or movie was in the works every week or two since the show got cancelled in the first place. But that being said, this looks ever so slightly more solid.

Said Dean Lorey on his blog:

“We’re really doing this thing. Mitch Hurwitz, Jim Vallely and I are off writing the new season of ‘Arrested’ to premiere on Netflix in 2013… There are offices and parking spaces.”

Of course it’s possible that someone set up a blog with Dean Lorey’s name and has spent time building up realistic looking postings, just in order to make this sort of announcement. That would be truly epic level trolling, and I cannot discard its remote possibility since I know first hand that I, along with every other writer on this site, are inventions of a mental patient in Jacksonville planning on using Pajiba as the springboard to run for Viceroy of Canada in 2019.

There are two bits of this that I find interesting. First, it’s slated to get a ten episode season, followed by an actual film. Second, Netflix is the one making it happen. Now these bits of info have technically been mentioned by one cast member or another over the last few months, but this is the first I’ve heard of parking spaces, which is the gold standard of a rumor’s transition into reality.

Netflix is the really fascinating part of this good news, a bit of cleverness when considered. Netflix’s problem with creating their own content is that they don’t get paid up front for it. If they make a couple new shows, even if they are massive successes, that doesn’t directly translate into increased ad revenue, or even necessarily increased measurement. The benefit is all implicit, all in the counterfactual. Hell, a hit might even be an apparent loss for them since it might cause a spike in bandwidth usage, which costs them money.

But the clever bit is in the fact that Netflix’s streaming costs are going through the roof right now, in conjunction with the Flixster disaster that pissed off half their customer base. But niche cult shows are a great way to shore up that customer base. No one is going to not cancel their Netflix subscription because “Two and a Half Men” gets added to streaming. But a whole hell of a lot of people might not cancel who otherwise would when they realize “Arrested Development” will be on there in a year.

(source: HuffPo)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.