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Netflix is bidding for Arrested Development comeback

Arrested Development is back: The cult comedy is returning to TV screens with a final ten episode season, according to a report from Deadline Hollywood. The revelation was made at the New Yorker Festival, where Arrested Development creator Michael Hurwitz also said that potential suitors bidding for the show include both Showtime (s CBS) and Netflix. (s NFLX)

Arrested Development originally aired on Fox(s NWS), where it quickly attracted a cult following. However, the show’s ratings didn’t measure up to Fox’s expectations, and the network eventually pulled the plug after three seasons.

There have long been rumors about an Arrested Development movie that would include the original cast, but Hurwitz apparently wasn’t content with simply bringing the franchise to the big screen. He told the festival audience on Sunday that there will be a ten episode mini season, which will then lead up to the release of a full-blown Arrested Development movie.

It makes sense for Netflix to bid for Arrested Development: The company has been getting more aggressive in competing with cable networks like HBO (s TWX) and Showtime, and most recently got the exclusive rights to new and catalog Dreamworks Animation titles. Netflix also spent heavily to get the exclusive rights for Kevin Spacey’s upcoming show, House of Cards. Back when that deal was announced, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the following:

Our goal remains to constantly expand our selection of previous seasons of popular TV shows and we may bring more exclusive series to Netflix in the future, if an opportunity arises that has the key elements a show needs to be successful; great storytelling and great storytellers.

Netflix subscribers won’t be able to watch the new Arrested Development episodes until 2013, even if it does win the rights to the show. However, Netflix has been adding more TV show titles in recent weeks, and just Sunday announced the availability of new episodes of 30 Rock and The Office, as well as other shows from NBC Universal. (s CMCSK)(s ge)

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