Netflix just gained about 1 trillion cool points.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Michael: They’re going to keep dad in jail until this whole thing gets sorted out. 

Silence. 

Michael: Also, I’ve been told that the company’s expense accounts have been frozen. 

Everyone gasps.

Michael: Interesting. I would have expected that after “They’re keeping dad in jail.”

Oh, it’s a good time to have a blog titled “TV Without A TV,” now isn’t it? My phone was ringing off the hook late Friday with the news of “Arrested Development” striking a deal with Netflix. How sweet it is. From The Los Angeles Times …

“The show is expected to return with new episodes in the first half of 2013,” the paper — along with four trillion other entertainment outlets — reported over the weekend. “The entire cast is expected to return, a person close to the project said. There has also been talk of making an ‘Arrested Development’ movie as well, but so far no definite plan for that has emerged. There is no word yet as to how many episodes Netflix will order.”

That number has been rumored as anywhere from 10 to 12, though who’s counting, really? The most important aspect of this news is the fact that, well, there is actual news. As the always-cynical (yet brilliant) Lisa des Moraes pointed out when the reunion story broke about a month ago — along with a ton of other writers/news outlets, mind you — all of us “Arrested Development” geeks need not be as excited as we appeared, considering the amount of fake-outs the cast and crew has displayed over the years.

But now is a different time, dag-nab-it, and I, for one, will not let thoughts of hollow promises pollute my excitement in light of such news. Fire up the stair-car and break out the blue paint: This reunion is destiny, I tell you. Destiny.

Actually, the repercussions of such an announcement bleed far deeper than a mere television show getting a re-boot. Don’t believe me? From the much more intelligent people at Time …

“…The company has outbid cable company Showtime to win the rights for the much-anticipated new season of ‘Arrested Development,’ which will premiere as streaming content on the service in early 2013,” the magazine’s Techland wrote Monday. “20th Century Fox, the studio behind the show, confirmed the Netflix deal late Friday, with Fox Filmed Entertainment president of new media and digital distribution Peter Levinsohn calling it ‘an exciting new opportunity for our two companies.’ 20th Century Fox TV Chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman also offered a statement saying that the deal represented ‘a new business model that is extremely exciting and opens the door for a wide range of new collaborations,’ suggesting that the studio may be looking to resurrect other cult favorite shows via Netflix in the future.”

Wow, Netflix outbid Showtime? Honestly? That’s pretty big stuff, when you think about it. Add this announcement to the idea of “House of Cards” — remember that? — and what you have is a company that really is serious about making a name for itself as a place to go for original programming online. It’s exciting, really (and that’s even if you have no idea what never-nude syndrome is). A change is upon us, and you have to think that “Arrested Development” isn’t going to be the first show to make a return that is broadcast exclusively online. After all, we’ve been anxiously waiting for that “The New Adventures Of Old Christine” reunion for months now, haven’t we?

Or, wait. Maybe that’s just me. But either way, that’s the point I’m making here, friends: Why couldn’t a show that simply didn’t do well enough in the ratings war to survive come back to Internet-based television, if the cult following is there and a studio is willing to pick it up? Think of all the possibilities. A sixth season of “The Wire,” touching on how the futures of McNulty and Bubbles played out? A quick mini-series based around all the things that went down after the screen suddenly went to black on the last episode of “The Sopranos?” With this announcement, the sky is undoubtedly the limit, and here’s hoping more executives are willing to see how high they can fly.

For the record, details on a movie are still up in the air, and many of the show’s prominent stars have yet to comment on all of this. Production on the new episodes is set to begin this summer.

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