Netflix plans to double the amount of original programming it releases in 2014, with the success of House of Cards driving the decision, as well as wild anticipation surrounding the return of Arrested Development.
While Netflix has remained tight-lipped regarding ratings figures for House of Cards, the company has revealed that the show, directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, was the most-watched series on the site in February and that Netflix gained an additional three million subscribers in that quarter alone. House of Cards was also a critical success, averaging 76 percent on Metacritic.
Meanwhile, Arrested Development looks poised to be an even greater success than House of Cards, with Variety reporting that the series' return is already garnering three times more social buzz than the Fincher-helmed show was able to leverage.
Netflix's announcement to double down on original content was likely prompted by House of Cards receiving two Critics' Choice nominations, which can be a good predictor of Emmy nominations. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that an Emmy win would help firmly solidify the site's position as a major provider of original content.
With Arrested Development set to premiere May 26, it looks like Netflix already has an ace up its sleeve going forward. And just because the new season of Arrested Development is being billed as the last one, doesn't mean that Netflix won't change its mind on that point.
Sarandos told the Hollywood Reporter, "If we can muster up that love again, we'd love to do it again. And we have talked openly about a movie scenario, too."
An Arrested Development movie? We'll likely need to wait awhile before anyone confirms whether or not that's just hot air, but if the new season is the resounding success most expect it to be, it would seem prudent for Netflix to do more with the franchise.