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Netflix Gets Exclusive 'Arrested Development' Streaming Rights For New Season

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 11/18/11 08:25 PM ET Updated: 11/19/11 12:00 PM ET

If you've been feeling coldly toward Netflix recently, this might warm you up: The media-streaming giant has signed an exclusive deal to resurrect acclaimed comedy series "Arrested Development."

New episodes will be available only to Netflix streaming subscribers in the U.S. in 2013.

"For the first time in their histories, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine Television will produce original first-run entertainment content for the world's leading internet subscription service, bringing back the acclaimed series to production on all new episodes five years after its cancellation," read Netflix's press release.

"Netflix's bold entrance into original programming presents an exciting new opportunity for our two companies," Fox Filmed Entertainment's President of New Media & Digital Distribution Peter Levinsohn was quoted in the release. "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."

This isn't just awesome for fans of the six-time Emmy Award-winning "Arrested Development," which aired on Fox from 2003 until its cancellation in 2006. It's is also great news for Netflix, which has taken hit after hit in last few months. In July, the company announced that it would split its streaming and DVD-by-mail combo subscription into two separate subscriptions, and that customers who wanted to keep their combo plan would see a price hike of 60 percent. Naturally, these decisions prompted an instant uproar from customers.

Then, in September, Netflix said that it would spin off its DVD-by-mail service into a separate business, which would be called Qwikster. The idea did not go over well with customers and media alike, and Netflix killed off Qwikster in October.

But it doesn't stop there. Later in October, Netflix announced that it expected to lose about 800,000 customers for the third quarter of 2011, a much higher loss than the company had anticipated after its rocky summer and early autumn.

Yes, the road has been rough for Netflix recently. But "Arrested Development," with its rabid fan following, is a pretty big get. To quote TechCrunch, "Netflix makes up for all its past mistakes by resurrecting [this show]."

"Arrested Development" follows the misadventures of the dysfunctional Bluth family. The series stars an ensemble cast including Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat. Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television will produce the series while Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Mitch Hurwitz will serve as executive producers. It was announced in October that the show would be revived for nine to 10 episodes followed by a movie based on the series.

In March, Netflix signed an exclusive agreement to air upcoming drama series "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey. The series has yet to make its debut.

Check out our slideshow (below) to see how Twitter has reacted to Netflix's big announcement.

Emily Su
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