Was Arrested Development Revival A Huge Mistake For Netflix?


Netflix AD season 4

Was Arrested Development Season 4 a huge mistake for Netflix? We’d say no, but we’re biased and want more episodes. But the truth is, the long-awaited revival failed to increase Netflix subscribers the way the company hoped it would.

The company’s newest financial report shows that Netflix added 2 million domestic subscribers at the end of 2012 and the start of 2013. The most recent quarter only showed 630,000 new subscribers to the streaming service.

That brings the grand total of domestic subscribers to 28.62 million, which doesn’t suck. However, Netflix reported fewer new international subscribers during the same period. That number rests at about 7.1 million, with a 1.81 million new subscriber number dropping to 1.02 million in Q1 2013.

Arrested Development season 4

Of course, it’s tough to blame the drops on Arrested Development, since Q2 is usually the worst new-subscriber quarter for Netflix. Additionally, the show always only had a ridiculously dedicated cult following. If it was expected to pull millions of users to Netflix, it would still be on Fox.

Happily, Netflix and co. seem pretty happy about Arrested Development. All parties concerned are currently in talks for a Season 5, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings seemed encouraged by the company’s numbers.

In the financial statement, he noted that Arrested Development caused “a small but noticeable bump in membership when we released it” and that “other great shows don’t have that noticeable effect in their first season because they are less established.”

Netflix is also doing other boring things like making history with a bunch of Emmy nominations, their original series House of Cards being counted among the greats like Game of Thrones and Homeland, and earning rave reviews for Orange Is the New Black.

Sure, they have to figure out how to bring those new subscriber numbers up. But their original programming is killing it, and Arrested Development is no different. Review aggregation websites peg Season 4 with “mixed reviews,” but fans of the show were pleased with the new episodes.

It’s still my favorite show.

Sound off, Netflix subscribers! Did you sign up for the streaming service to watch new Arrested Development episodes, or were you already a Netflix user?


Dusten Carlson
Dusten has written for web and print and currently spends his time working on his upcoming graphic novel. He is also almost 30 and still has all of his hair.

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