'Arrested Development' returning with new episodes on Netflix

By Cory Bergman 

Wow, big news for Arrested Development fans (including myself). The show is coming back with new episodes, but not on a TV network: Netflix has ponied up the cash to bring the show back, starting in 2013.

Variety reports that Netflix beat out Showtime for the rights, and all the major stars of the original show have expressed interest in returning to TV, although no deals have been made. However, the status of the Arrested Development movie is back in doubt.

This makes a ton of sense for Netflix. AD, as the kids call it, has been one of the most replayed TV shows in history — always a favorite pick on both Netflix and Hulu. Plus, Netflix desperately needs a shot in the arm after its series of recent missteps. But perhaps the most interesting element of the show — which was never realized in its pre-social media years at FOX — is that it’s made for social. The show’s short quips, wacky characters and bizarre moments, combined with its Twitter-wired stars, will make it a social TV favorite — despite the fact it won’t be on network TV.

Netflix struck the deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine. “Bringing a classic show back to production on new episodes exclusively for Netflix customers is a game changer, and illustrates the incredible potential the new digital landscape affords great content providers like Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine,” said Peter Levinsohn, Fox Filmed Entertainment’s President of New Media & Digital Distribution.

I can hardly wait, and I’m warming up my Twitter fingers with millions of other AD fans for the big re-premiere of the Bluth family — this time, on a “new network” delivered to my TV set via an internet connection.