“And that’s why you always buy physical media.”
That wasn’t one of J. Walter Weatherman’s elaborate lessons to the Bluth clan, but maybe it should have been. Because if you’ve meaning to watch Arrested Development on Netflix and thought it would be there forever — the way pretty much every Netflix original series never leaves the service — think again. If you log onto the site right now you’ll see that the show’s page on the streaming service reads “Last Day to Watch on Netflix: March 14.”
Arrested Development was one of Netflix’s first really big original series. The show originally premiered in 2003 on Fox, where it was a cult favorite with poor ratings. Fox eventually canceled Arrested Development, the tales of the incredibly screwed-up Bluth family, after three seasons.
The show got an improbable second life from Netflix, which premiered a fourth season in May of 2013 featuring all of its original stars. To put that date in context, Netflix’s very first original programming, Lilyhammer debuted in February of 2012, and their first really big series was House of Cards in February of 2013. Before that, they were still known as a company that sent DVDs through the mail and had launched a streaming service where they licensed movies and some TV shows from existing companies. Bringing Arrested Development back garnered Netflix a huge amount of publicity and goodwill. A fifth season of Arrested Development followed by a two-part fifth season in 2018 and 2019.
If you haven’t watched Arrested Development, you still have a month before it leaves Netflix. After that, the show’s fate isn’t clear. The original three seasons that aired on Fox are also currently streaming on the Disney-owned Hulu streaming service. But the two seasons that were made for Netflix are currently Netflix exclusives. Season 5 never even got a release on DVD. So if you’ve been meaning to catch up with the show, don’t make a huge mistake; do it now.
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