FANS OF THE DYSFUNCTIONAL Bluth family can rejoice as online streaming web site Netflix plans to resurrect the show for a much-desired fourth season.
On Saturday, Netflix tweeted, "Starting in 2013, all new episodes of 'Arrested Development' will be available exclusively to US Netflix Members to watch instantly!"
Plans for an Arrested Development film were already underway, but the return of the TV series has been enabled by the involvement of Netflix. The media streaming web site struck a deal with Fox network, the original home of the show, to create a new series of episodes.
The move shows how the web has evolved from a powerful tool for launching entertainment stars, such as unsigned bands on Myspace, to now commissioning fresh content that would normally be the domain of the once cash-laden media networks.
Arrested Development ran for three seasons ending in 2006, and although it was never a ratings big hitter, it gained critical acclaim, won various awards and attracted a huge and loyal fanbase.
Stars of the show were quick to share their excitement and support for the plans.
"Netflix is gassing up the staircar! I don't think I've ever been happier to wear a pair of khakis," tweeted the much put-upon Michael Bluth, actor Jason Bateman.
Ron Howard, Arrested Development producer and narrator, tweeted, "Gotta warm up my throat and start practicing.... 'it's Arrested....Development'. Good news."
Netflix is not currently available in Europe, but it announced last month that it would launch in the UK in 2012. However, at present there is no deal for Arrested Development outside of the US. We'll have to hope that this will have changed by the time the episodes air online in 2013.
In the meantime we'll just have to amuse ourselves by booking some more tickets for the Blue Man Group or getting on down to The Final Countdown. Steve Holt! µ