Netflix announced that it will produce a new season of Arrested Development in 2013. Significant for the die-hard Gob and Buster fans, but also another tectonic shift in the online streaming game. Netflix announced the deal with Fox, which ran three seasons, then cancelled the show in 2006. The Wall Street Journal thinks Arrested Development falls into a category of show that doesn’t lend itself to traditional syndication:
Those programs include series whose plots follow closely from one episode to the next, such as the 1960s drama “Mad Men,” which Netflix licensed from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. earlier this year. Reruns of such shows typically fetch less money from cable channels and local TV stations in syndication because they are difficult to watch out of order. But Netflix pays handsomely for them because its users like watching one episode after another on the service, media executives say, and that is changing studios’ calculus. “Arrested Development” has a similarly continuous narrative structure. Some jokes set up in one episode don’t pay off until later episodes.