Continuing to develop original content similar to HBO’s strategy, Netflix discussed plans for the upcoming season of Arrested Development at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday. Similar to the launch of season one of Lilyhammer, the entire, 10-episode season of Arrested Development will be available to watch the first day that the new season is available on Netflix. Netflix subscribers won’t have to wait a week to view a new episode and can hypothetically consume the entire season in one sitting on launch day. All previous seasons of Arrested Development have been extremely popular on Netflix in addition to selling well on DVD.
According to Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz, the new season was going to focus on a specific character each episode, but new plans seem to be leaning to the previous format of the show. If season four of Arrested Development is popular on Netflix, Hurwitz has hinted at the possibility of creating a fifth and sixth season about the infamous Bluth family as well.
During the panel, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos stated “It was clear that everybody wanted to come back; we just need to figure out how to make it work with everyone’s incredibly busy schedules. We decided not to follow the conventional definition of a season; we would produce exactly how many episodes were needed to tell the story.” The new season is expected to be released during the first half of 2013.
In addition to the expanded details on the rollout of Arrested Development, Netflix has also renewed Lilyhammer for a second season. The first eight-episode season of the drama told the tale of a former member of the mafia, played by The Sopranos‘ Steven Van Zandt, that relocates to Lillehammer under federal witness protection after testifying against his boss. While Netflix officials have refused to release data regarding Lilyhammer viewership, it appears that the drama was successful enough for Netflix to continue the story.
Sarandos also mentioned that the David Fincher political drama House of Cards is continuing production and the first season is due out during 2013. The show stars Kevin Spacey and Netflix has already ordered 26 episodes of the drama spread out over two seasons. Also at the panel, Hostel director Eli Roth was on hand to talk about the horror drama that he’s developing for Netflix. Called Hemlock Grove, the narrative details the gruesome murder of a young girl in a Pennsylvania steel town. The 13-episode season will debut on Netflix during early 2013 and the show will star Famke Janssen of X-Men fame as well as Bill Skarsgard.
Netflix is also investing in a comedy called Orange is the New Black, a show based on the Piper Kerman memoir of the same name. Being developed by Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, the comedy will tell the story of one woman’s time spent in a minimum-security women’s prison after being convicted of a minor drug charge. Netflix did recently pass on creating a second season of Terra Nova, a cancelled FOX show that detailed the lives of people escaping a future version of Earth through time travel.