Netflix Cuffs ‘Arrested Development’ Exclusive Streaming Rights in Last-Minute Deal To Keep One of Its OG Hits

'Arrested Development'
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix signed a last-minute deal with The Walt Disney Co. to keep one of its longtime sitcom staples, Arrested Development, on its platform. 

All five seasons of the Jason Bateman comedy had been set to leave Netflix on March 15, an exit that even included the latter two campaigns, which were produced by Disney-owned 20th Century Studios specifically for Netflix. 

However, Netflix will not only keep all five seasons on its platform, it will have exclusive streaming rights. That means the Disney-controlled Hulu platform will relinquish the first three seasons of Arrested Development later this year. 

Disney, however, will keep linear TV rights, meaning it can license episodes to broadcast stations or cable networks in off-net syndication. 

Netflix first revealed news of the deal on Twitter last week, and Vulture was the first to pick up on that and flesh out details. 

Created by Mitchell Hurwitz and starring Bateman, Henry Winkler, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor and Michael Cera, among numerous other well-knowns, Arrested Development is a single-camera comedy about a wealthy but highly dysfunctional Newport Beach family. It ran for three seasons of critical acclaim and middling ratings on Fox from 2003-2006. 

The series won six Primetime Emmys and received 123 nominations overall.

Licensed repeats, however, would later flourish on Netflix in the early days of the streaming revolution. And when Netflix ventured into making original series, it revived Arrested Development for two more seasons, albeit with less praise from the show's rabid core faithful. 

A 15-episode fourth season, which returned the core cast, ran in 2003, while a 16-episode fifth campaign was split between 2018 and 2019. ▪️

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!