One of the biggest Netflix Original departures thus far was due to take place in March 2023. According to a new report from Vulture, Arrested Development’s five seasons were expected to depart midway through March 2023. However, we have since had news that the show will stay on the streamer for the time being. Here’s what you need to know.
Created by Mitchell Hurwitz, Arrested Development follows the dysfunctional and bizarre Bluth family picking up the pieces after patriarch George Bluth Sr. (played by the now-disgraced Jeffery Tambor) is sent to prison.
The cast includes Jason Bateman (Ozark), Michael Cera, Will Arnett (Murderville), Tony Hale, the late Jessica Walter, Portia De Ross, and David Cross. In addition, legendary actor and director Ron Howard serves as the Executive Producer and omniscient narrator.
Arrested Development has been a cornerstone of Netflix’s original lineup for eight years. The series was initially broadcast for three seasons on Fox before it was canceled in 2006. Netflix revived the show in 2011 as a “Netflix Original,” with the maligned 4th season finally premiering in May 2013. At the same time, they acquired non-exclusive rights to the first three seasons.
Due to the experimental format used to work around busy actors’ schedules; characters are split into stories with minimal overlap. Each episode focused on one of the Bluth family members during the same period of time, with events sometimes occurring without proper context. After the controversial response, Netflix and 20th TV moved the initial cuts to the “Trailers & More” section of the title page and replaced the episodes in 2018 with 22 episodes that spliced various episodes together, trimmed other parts entirely, and presented things in true chronological order. This new Season 4 Remix: Fateful Consequences, received better reviews but still did not match the popularity of the first three seasons.
The recut episodes resulted in problems, with the actors requesting additional compensation for what they deemed additional work. Part of the recut used alternate takes or footage, not in the initial 15-episode cut. 20th Television wanted to sell the series into global syndication after the Netflix window ended. It remains to be seen if they will still do that now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox.
In May 2018, after years of juggling many actors’ schedules, a 5th season was released in two 8-episode parts. All actors were present this time in the episodes, and the storylines were more intersected, but the show still recaptured the magic of the first three seasons. The final batch arrived on March 15, 2019, and that initiated the countdown clock until the end of Netflix’s window, which is now expiring four years later.
Is Arrested Development Still Leaving Netflix?
In February 2023, we got word that we would soon be mourning the loss of one of the earliest Netflix Originals because Netflix notified everyone in February that Arrested Development would be leaving on March 15, 2023. That means your last day watching Arrested Development on Netflix would have been March 14th.
This news was widely reported by other outlets like TVLine, for instance.
This removal date was then pushed back a week, with the actual removal now planned for March 25th, 2023, and the last day to watch being March 24th.
The delay in the removal date suggested that Netflix was trying to work out an agreement behind the scenes. We’ve seen this happen with Lilyhammer and Medici, for example.
Since then, that removal date is no longer showing on Netflix for the title, with the companion message now stating, “Watch all seasons now.”
According to a report from Josef Adalian at Vulture, the show is due to stay on Netflix for the foreseeable future, although exact details are unknown.
The report states Disney and Netflix came to a new agreement that would keep all of Arrested Development on Netflix for the foreseeable. What’s on Netflix can confirm that Netflix has renewed the show through March 2026. Meaning it’ll be on Netflix for at least another three years.
Additionally, the Vulture report adds:
“… the new arrangement calls for Hulu to give up rights to streaming the first three seasons of Arrested later this year — allowing Netflix to become the exclusive streaming home for all things Bluth.”
What’s on Netflix can also confirm the removal date for Hulu. As it stands, Hulu will lose Arrested Development on October 1st, 2023.
At least 16 countries of Netflix will continue carrying Arrested Development including the UK, US, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, Latin America, France, Spain, and Portugal.
In the meantime, you can catch all the removals from Netflix in March 2023 in our extensive US list here, and keep an eye out on our leaving soon section for a full list of March 2023 removals as and when we get them. In addition, we’re tracking the removal of Disney’s remaining content on Netflix here and all Netflix Original removals.
This report contains additional writing from Kasey Moore.