Arrested Development for its rabid fans was the epitome of gone but not forgotten.
The show picked up a small but devoted cult following during its three-year run on Fox, ending in 2006 with little fanfare. But rather than saying goodbye, the fans grew more devoted to the unconventional comedy and its fan base grew thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and DVD sales.
Fans petitioned Fox to bring the show back, reporters asked members of the ensemble cast about the possibility of a reunion, and rumors flew about a comeback.
Now the persevere has paid off. A new season of the show is debuting in Netflix this month, and a movie is on the way.
Dave Nemetz, content producer for Yahoo! TV said it was really due to the fan outcry that Arrested Development made its return.
“On one hand, it is surprising, because Arrested Development was never a huge hit,” he said. “But its fans are fanatically devoted to the show, and that means a lot these days. In today’s TV landscape, with so much audience fragmentation and the power of social media, a passionate fan base is more important than ever. That passion is what got ‘Arrested Development’ back on the air,” he said. “The show is brilliantly funny; it still stands as one of the best TV comedies of the last twenty years. But it also rewards repeat viewings with lots of inside jokes and callbacks to previous episodes. So the more you watch; the more little nods you pick up on.”
Even Portia de Rossi, who played ditzy Lindsay Bluth on the show, says she’s become a hardcore Arrested Development fan.
“I find it really frustrating to have to wait a week to watch a show, and I’m just so used to seeing things back to back when I want to see them,” she said. “I think what Mitch has done with Arrested for Netflix is even more brilliant because he’s used that format and created something brand new within it.”
Arrested Developmentdebuts on Netflix May 26.