How Netflix is harnessing the power of Arrested Development against mainstream networks

By | May 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm | No comments | News, TV/Movies | Tags: ,

Netflix is living by the motto, “there’s always money in the banana stand.” At least, that’s what they hope by gearing up for the release of the fourth season of Arrested Development. The Bluth family is back for more. The first run of Arrested Development aired on Fox during 2003 to 2006. During that time, it didn’t get a lot of attention from Fox viewers, although it did win plenty of awards from critics. Ever since its cancelation, fans have been clamoring to get it back. It got cult-classic status over the years as one of the best comedies of all time. Netflix wants to continue this legacy.

Netflix got into the original content production game with House of Cards, which was well received by users of the service. Since Netflix has released the Kevin Spacey series, Netflix’s recent quarterly earnings figures have shown a profit of $2.7 million dollars, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Given that they were posting a loss a year ago, this is a major indicator that Netflix just might be on to something with the production game. Like “House of Cards,” “Arrested Development” will have the entire series released at once by Netflix. Each episode focuses on a different character in the series.

The New York Daily News shows the character posters that Netflix is using as part of the promotional campaign for Arrested Development‘s re-release. Gob Bluth is throwing cards with a tagline “It’s not an illusion. It’s Netflix.” George Bluth Sr. is labeled with “No touching. Only streaming.” Other taglines continue emphasizing the fact that while you can see older seasons of Arrested Development from or other services, the only place for the newest season of Arrested Development is on Netflix. The taglines also incorporate just why it’s great to get it through Netflix.

Given the amount of buzz surrounding the relaunch, this is a sound marketing tactic to take. They don’t need to tell fans about the show, they need to convince them that it being on Netflix is the best thing that could possibly happen. The series is makes its debut on May 26, and since all 15 episodes will be released at once, there’s going to be an explosion of details as soon as everyone finishes watching. It remains to be seen whether releasing all of the content at the same time is a good strategy, as that does put a bit of a damper on the weekly excitement that surrounds other series.

The newest season of Arrested Development sees plenty of guest stars as well, John Krasinski of “The Office” will pop his head in, although Netflix is keeping the details of that appearance close to their chests. A few other guest stars making their way to the latest season of Arrested Development include Ben Stiller, John Slattery, Liza Minnelli, Conan O’Brien and Ron Howard, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Netflix is making many moves to set themselves up as more than just a streaming service that’s a competitor to cable and satellite TV providers. By moving into the content production market, especially with such a loved series as Arrested Development, they’re moving to compete against the networks themselves.

— April Campbell

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