When Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced in 2011 that he intended to resurrect the Fox comedy series Arrested Development, he drew massive publicity. It now turns out, however, that the series will likely be resurrected for just 14 episodes, available via Netflix this spring, then put to death again. In a conference call with investors on Monday, Hastings said, Arrested is a unique property, we don't anticipate being able to do season five, six and seven. He then left his audience scratching their heads when he went on to remark: We have less of a stake in it. It is really a fantastic one-off, which is coming together incredibly. I think it will be amazing for us, but think of it as a nonrepeatable amazing, whereas the other thing that we are doing is to trying to figure out a real mechanism where we can build shows and develop franchises over the long term. In that way, Arrested Development is a wildly successful tactic, as opposed to fundamental to the strategy. If those words sounded confusing, the befuddlement was compounded later in the day when a Netflix spokesperson told the entertainment website HitFix.com that content decisions are made by the company's content chief, Ted Sarandos, who, she said, wants to produce additional seasons of Arrested Development. By no means is this the end of it, she said. We're definitely planning to do more with them. We have first rights, so it's not like you'd see it anywhere else. We're absolutely hopeful there will be more.
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.