Looks like the money in Netflix’s banana stand has run out. All five seasons of “Arrested Development” — including the two seasons produced specifically for Netflix — will depart the streamer on March 15, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to IndieWire.
Created by Mitchell Hurwitz, “Arrested Development” initially ran on Fox from 2003 to 2006, getting canceled after its third season. The show was revived, with the entire cast returning, in 2013, with Netflix premiering a fourth season that August. The revival was one of Netflix’s very first dives into original programming, coming the same year as the premiere of “House of Cards.” A fifth and final season split into two parts premiered on the streamer in 2018 and 2019.
The Fox seasons of the celebrated sitcom are currently streaming on Hulu. It is unclear if the revival seasons will be able to move to Hulu or another streamer, or if they will become unavailable online (the 2013 fourth season received a physical DVD release from Netflix). Netflix co-produced the series with Imagine Entertainment and 20th Television, the latter of which is owned by Disney, Hulu’s majority stakeholder, and produces several series that air on the streamer.
The situation will mark the first time Netflix has removed an original series from their streamer; “Lillyhammer,” a Norwegian crime series that was licensed to the streamer in 2012 and became the first show to be marketed as a “Netflix Original,” nearly left the service last fall following the lapse of its initial 10-year deal, before a last-minute agreement was reached to keep it on. Other rival streamers of Netflix — including HBO Max and Showtime — have recently taken to removing originals from their libraries as a cost-saving measure as licensing deals expire.
“Arrested Development” starred Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth, the straight-laced son of a rich, dysfunctional family. After his father George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) is convicted of defrauding investors in the family’s real estate company, Michael is forced to help keep the now-struggling clan together. The ensemble cast of the series also included Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, the late Jessica Walter, and Ron Howard as the narrator.
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