illustrate how a series morphs as it transitions from being a
network sitcom to fit the Binge Model when revived by a streaming
service.
Those Who Follow
While it is not necessarily unprecedented, or even
uncommon, for networks and cable to revive cancelled series,
Netflix doing so with Arrested Development lit a match in the industry
that caused other streaming services to fly into the flame. Series
like Futurama (1999-2013) and Cougar Town (2009-15) were
cancelled by FOX and ABC only to be brought back to life on
Comedy Central and TBS, respectively. Even though Showtime
showed interest in Arrested Development, it was less likely to happen
for cult series than for those with wider viewership because
networks and cable have “to thread the needle of being able to fit
[their] brands” (Wallenstein 34). Networks and cable are forced to
produce what appeals to their specific audiences, which is why CBS
continues to make multi-cam sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory
(2007-) and Mom (2013-) and why FOX continues producing
raunchy, animated series focused on families like the Griffins
(Family Guy) and the Simpsons (The Simpsons). Streaming services
have an eclectic catalog because their viewers come from all walks
of life. Due to this, streaming services cannot develop a specific
brand and are able to practice narrowcasting to appeal to every
niche within their wider audiences. The depth of their catalogs
means they need diversity in their offerings. This need is why
Netflix is able to create children’s series based off DreamWorks
Animation product like Dragons: Race to the Edge (2015-) and
Trollhunters (2016-) alongside the political drama House of Cards
(2013-), the superhero series Marvel’s Daredevil (2015-) and Marvel’s
Jessica Jones (2015-), revived series Arrested Development, and more.
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