Hold on to your hats, Arrested Development fans. Word on the street is that Netflix and Imagine Entertainment are in talks to bring another season of the quirky and beloved TV show to a streaming media device near you. (It’s in your living room. Watching you with that ominous red standby LED glow. Waiting for you to caress the controller or remote, to hit the power button and help blink it into a winking green existence.)
Brian Grazer, co-chairman of AD production company Imagine Entertainment confirmed yesterday that both sides are “in conversations to do another” season, stating that “they [Netflix] are interested in doing that.”
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that original fare like Arrested Development and horror series Hemlock Grove (I really need to check that out) are integral to Netflix’s long term strategy of becoming the go-to destination for original streaming programming. (Could this portend the beginning of the end of days cable? I hope so; just dropped my Time Warner service last month mostly everything I watch (besides sports, sniff) is online or rental anyway.) Hastings also confirmed that both Arrested and Hemlock are “exceeding expectations” although he would not disclose firm viewing numbers.
From a business standpoint, stock earnings fluctuations from second quarter earnings due to be disclosed on July 22nd could play a role in whether or not Netflix decides to go for another season of Arrested Development. These Q2 numbers will be used by analysts to examine subscriber numbers from previous periods in an effort to determine if this new avenue of original programming has led to new customer signups as well as subscription retention rates. Remember, just like I did with Hulu Plus when I found out we couldn’t stream certain shows on the PS3 (Hannibal for me and So You Think You Can Dance for the missus and the kids – and me), Netflix has a one-month free subscription promo that can be cancelled before committing any paying dollars, so focus on those retention comparisons will be high.
This is interesting news for AD fans, and for folks like me who follow this surge towards more original online programming. It’s worthwhile to note that the Hemlock Grove as well as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Lilyhammer have all been ordered for new seasons by Netflix. Based on that, business for the streaming entertainment provider must be good.
Sources: Bloomberg News