series with the third season (Goodman). The series finale features
another meta interaction when Ron Howard (the narrator of the
series but in this instance playing himself, a studio executive) tells
Maeby Fünke (Alia Shawkat) that her idea for a television series
based on her family will not work. He is interested in a movie
version, however. Despite years of teases about a film, none has
been made.
Over seven years after the finale aired, on May 26, 2013,
the streaming service Netflix released 15, brand-new episodes of
Arrested Development. The new fourth season featured the same
actors playing the same characters and continued where the third
season left off. The revival was commercially successful for
Netflix, despite the mixed reception it received from critics and
viewers, and led to Netflix reviving other cancelled series such as
Longmire (2012-) and Trailer Park Boys (2001-2016). Other streaming
services followed Netflix’s lead, and now it is common for
showrunners and other producers to shop their cancelled series to
streaming services. The practice of reviving series led to a shift in
the television environment and fueled the ongoing nostalgia
movement seen in the industry. When series are revived on
different platforms, they often become entirely different beasts,
and the shift can be traced back to how the revival of Arrested
Development was handled by Netflix.
Arrested Development: Where It All Begins
The first series to be brought back to life in this way (unlike
completely altered revivals such as The New Perry Mason, which
featured a different cast) was the sitcom Arrested Development, and
through its continuation, we can see the roadmap for how future
revivals are handled. As stated earlier, the series never gained much
popularity with a broad audience. Instead, it became a cult hit with
a small group of rabid fans. One reason why may be that the series
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