Time (sub required) on the revived show whose new season streams starting today
"In a real way, it's not just Arrested Development that's being rebooted here; it's the entire TV business. Netflix, which earlier this year premiered the Kevin Spacey political drama House of Cards (at a reported production cost of $100 million for two seasons), is betting big on a future in which original TV comes through the Internet, via computers, set-top boxes or sundry iThingies. When Arrested was canceled, it was a blip in network-TV history. But the revived version could be the biggest thing in whatever TV is about to become.
One advantage of streaming is the data. "We track viewing to the second," says Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "We know who's watching, how many episodes you're watching, what devices you're watching on, how long your viewing sessions are." All that data, Sarandos says, was telling them that whereas most canceled cult shows maintain a small, diehard fan base, Arrested Development's was getting bigger."
And the impact on production
"So Hurwitz (who co-directed every episode of the new season with Troy Miller) shot scenes like jigsaw pieces, depending on who was available. Hurwitz recalls, "Some days our call sheet would say Episode 406, 408, 409, 412 and 401. Bateman, whose straight-arrow, white-sheep-of-the-family Michael Bluth appears in every new episode, worked out a front-loaded schedule to shoot all his scenes before leaving in late October to direct his first movie."