Netflix released this trailer for “Arrested Development” on Sunday. It’s not a great trailer. But this was never a show that lent itself to being tidily summarized in ads, so I’ll choose to focus on enjoying seeing the cast in action again:
Exciting news for fans of “The Killing,” which AMC canceled earlier this year after executives finally saw the first season finale (because remember that finale, and how angry everyone was? Good times). DirecTV and Netflix are both “in early talks” to potentially maybe renew the show for a third season, reports walking exclamation point Michael Ausiello.
This is definitely a thing that might happen, because it happens just about every time Netflix or DirecTV are mentioned as potential saviors for canceled shows. Remember when Netflix picked up “Terra Nova”? Or when Netflix renewed “The River,” a show we all loved and we all definitely remember, because it was definitely a real show that aired on television? Or when Netflix revived “Jericho”? Or when Netflix brought back “Reno 911”? You clearly remember these things, because you spend all of your free time watching new episodes of “Terra Nova” and “The River” and “Jericho” and “Reno 911.”
Of course, it’s worth remembering that this sort of thing (a show canceled by one network and saved by DirecTV or Netflix) has only happened three (3) times in recent years. “Arrested Development” was canceled by Fox in 2006 and new episodes are being filmed right now for Netflix; “Friday Night Lights” was saved by a DirecTV/NBC deal that allowed its final three seasons to air first on DirecTV before airing on NBC; and “Damages,” which was canceled by FX, was then given two additional seasons by DirecTV. But because this sort of thing happened three times — and two of those times, it involved rescuing cult favorites with massively devoted fan bases (also, “Damages”) — fans seem to think it’s possible for their favorite canceled shows. Maybe there will also be new episodes of “The Critic” on Starz? A guy can dream.
(This line of rumormongering is closely related to those “Hey, I heard they might make a movie based on [some show]!” reports. Because “Serenity” happened and because “Arrested Development” did finally reemerge, we’re going to hear about the ‘rumored’ “Party Down”/”Deadwood”/”Veronica Mars”/”Gilmore Girls”/”That’s So Raven”/etc. movies from now until the sun burns out. Humankind could eventually develop the ability to travel through time, and a representative could be sent back to our modern era to warn us about some avoidable disaster or other, and all we’re going to want to know is “So did they ever make that ‘Party Down’ movie!?”. Because, in fairness, I’d probably ask that if I met someone from the future.)
The return of “Arrested Development” is tantalizingly, astonishingly close. Vulture is kind enough to provide the latest news: The show’s fourth season is filming this summer (!) and all 10 episodes will premiere on the same day in 2013. Yes, on one undetermined date next year, you will get to sit down and watch 10 new episodes of “Arrested Development,” provided you have subscribed to Netflix by that point (or if you know somebody else who has such a subscription).
Other tidbits: The show won’t be doing the each-episode-focused-on-one-character idea that had been previously discussed; no mention was actually made of the movie, which was for so many years the presumed vehicle for an “Arrested” reunion; and there is the potential for additional seasons on Netflix. (Personally, I’d much rather see multiple new seasons rather than a movie, so this could be great news.)
Head on over to Vulture to read more, particularly to learn whether or not Bob Loblaw will return, which is the only thing any of us were actually wondering.
And now, some good news for fans of quirky, low-rated comedies (who need cheering up after recent setbacks for “Community” and “Cougar Town“): Netflix has struck a deal to bring back “Arrested Development.” I know! Frozen bananas and hot ham water for everyone.
But, before you get too excited, there are a few things to note: This is just the licensing deal, and while that clears an important hurdle in finding a home for the new episodes, it doesn’t mean the show heads right back into production. The show is expected to return in the first half of 2013. None of the cast members have signed deals yet, and while they are all expected back, they still have to sign contracts and figure out their schedules (like Will Arnett, who has another sitcom job on NBC’s “Up All Night”). Also unclear is the status of the much-discussed movie, with different sources telling Variety different things.
Still! This is great because new “Arrested Development” episodes are inching that much closer to reality. (Six seasons and a movie would be outstanding. Netflix/Fox/Imagine, make that happen, would you?) And Netflix, a company already moving towards original content with the Kevin Spacey-David Fincher series “House of Cards,” inches that much closer to repairing its image after a particularly brutal year. After all, it’s hard to imagine a better way for Non-Qwikster to repair its image than giving the world more of the Bluths.
After Netflix announced they were jacking up their prices (while acting as if they were enhancing services), there was a significant backlash. Now we’re seeing the effects of the price hike, and the results aren’t pretty (if you’re Netflix).
The company’s stock plummeted last week. Subscribers are beginning to flee. The price hike went into effect on Sept. 1 for new customers, but existing users saw the change when their monthly bill was due (that date varies, depending on when people signed up for the service). Now the company has apologized and announced they are splitting DVD rentals and streaming into two entities, and one of those entities has a very goofy name.
Netflix is becoming a streaming-only entity, while the DVD rental business is being spun off and renamed “Qwikster.” (Yes, that’s the real name, not the codename until they actually launch the product or something. That’s the name, courtesy of 1999.) The discs (and now videogames) will still come in the trademark red envelopes, but they will be stamped with the logo for Qwikster. There will be two distinct Web sites — one for Netflix and one for Qwikster — two separate payments, two separate subscriptions, two separate queues. Continue reading
If you subscribe to Netflix and enjoy being able to rent DVDs and stream movies for a reasonable price, you’d better get the most out of your subscription this summer. The company is about to ask for a much bigger chunk of change.
Netflix announced on Tuesday the company would be splitting up DVD rentals and streaming subscriptions, so people who want to watch both will need to pay for each as a separate plan. It’s going to cost $7.99 per month to stream an unlimited amount of content and it will also cost $7.99 per month to rent one DVD at a time.
The company presented the plans as a great new deal for consumers, which is pretty disingenuous, but at least they admitted there were financial incentives to setting up DVD-only plans (mailing the DVDs could give the company more than $100 million dollars in postage savings). Netflix shares were up in the wake of the announcement, so Wall Street seemed to like what they had to say. That makes sense: this will boost the price for DVDs-and-streaming subscriptions 60 percent (from $10 per month to $16).
It’s not like there is a lot of competition for Netflix, either. If you can find an open Blockbuster store, congratulations. You might be satisfied with the choices on Hulu or other streaming sites. [EDIT: And yes, I forgot about Redbox.] But Netflix is the big one. Peter Kafka points out that Netflix views itself as a streaming Web video service. It will be interesting in the coming months to see how customers react. The streaming library is still limited, but waiting for DVDs to arrive in the mail is no fun.
There is, of course, another (more complicated) choice if you want to stick with Netflix but not pay for both services each month. Netflix subscriptions are not long-term contracts. You can change your plan each month, depending on what you want to do and assuming you figure it out in advance. So let’s say you want to watch “Mad Men” when it hits streaming: do the streaming-only subscription until you finish the show. If you want to follow that with, say, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” you can switch to the DVD-only plan before your next bill. The downsides are obvious: toggling back and forth will be tedious, while being stuck with one DVD would be limiting.
Anyway, Netflix basically just swindled their consumer base, because they can, because they’re the biggest and (really) only game in town, and we’re all going to take it because what else are we going to do? Talk to other people? Read books? No, Netflix owns us and they know it.
So it turns out “Mad Men” IS coming back this summer. Kinda. Netflix just acquired the rights to stream every episode of “Mad Men,” with the first four seasons available beginning July 27. The other seasons will be added down the line. Netfilx is paying Lionsgate nearly $1 million per episode, which essentially means that streaming the final three seasons will finance Matthew Weiner’s massive salary.
Netflix has been added to the S&P 500. Dropped: The New York Times. Ouch.
Netflix has finally added a Web-only version of the streaming service, one that doesn’t require you to rent antiquated devices known as “DVDs” in order to watch things where you want to, on your computer. It only costs $7.99 a month. That’s the good news. The bad news is, everybody else is seeing their subscription prices go up. The $8.99-per-month plan — the one that let you have an unlimited number of DVDs per month (one out at a time) and unlimited streaming, i.e. the most popular option — is going to cost $9.99. If you want more DVDs at a time, it also costs even more. (The super-limited plan — one DVD at a time, two DVDs a month — still costs $4.99! Woo.) [AllThingsD]
A new deal between Netflix and NBC Universal will vastly increase the amount of quality programming available for instant streaming via Netflix. Among the shows that are part of the multi-year deal (which kicks off next week): hundreds of episodes from every single season of “SNL,” episodes from the next three seasons of “SNL” (available the morning after broadcast), every episode from the 2009-2010 seasons of “30 Rock,” “The Office” and “Law & Order: SVU” (plus older episodes of those shows), every episode of “Friday Night Lights” (including, eventually, the upcoming fifth and final season), every episode of “Psych” and episodes of “Battlestar Galactica.”
It’s worth noting that the deal does not appear to involve every single episode of “SNL” ever aired, as some reports have stated; rather, it appears the deal just involves hundreds of the 680 episodes that have aired over the years. The wording of the press release leaves this a bit ambiguous.