“Arrested is a unique property, we don’t anticipate being able to do season five, six and seven,” said Hastings. “We have less of a stake in it. It is really a fantastic one-off, which is coming together incredibly. I think it will be amazing for us, but think of it as a nonrepeatable amazing.”
The return of the beloved cult comedy (which originally aired on Fox from 2003-06) was announced back in October 2011, and Netflix picked up exclusive rights to air the series the following month. With the entire original cast returning, as well as creator Mitchell Hurwitz, Arrested Development‘s fourth season is set to air in May, with all 14 new episodes premiering at once.
Hastings said that Netflix’s current goal is to “build shows and develop franchises over the long term. In that way, Arrested Development is a wildly successful tactic as opposed to fundamental to the strategy.” He pointed to the company’s other endeavors, such as the Ricky Gervais comedy Derek, and the recently debuted political thriller House of Cards, staring Kevin Spacey. Another possible reason for just the one season, as one company official told The Wall Street Journal, is that it would be very difficult to reunite the show’s entire cast again.
While Hastings seems certain about Arrested Development‘s new run only lasting just one season – he added in a conference call that Netflix got the show under “unrepeatable circumstances” – a spokesperson later clarified to HitFix that the company would like to produce more of the show in the future.
“We’re hopeful there will be more seasons,” the spokesperson said. “If anyone can pull it together, it’s going to be [content chief] Ted [Sarandos]. But by no means is this the end of it. We’re definitely planning to do more with them. We have first rights, so it’s not like you’d see it anywhere else. We’re absolutely hopeful there will be more.”
Hurwitz has said that he would like the show’s new fourth season to serve as an introduction to the much-rumored Arrested Development movie; however there’s still no word on whether the film is happening.