Netflix: Arrested Development Return Generates Social Buzz

Netflix is launching its much anticipated reboot of Fox comedy “Arrested Development” on Sunday. According to social analytics firm NetBase, the show has already generated more than 170,000 social mentions since April 26 (a month before its return), essentially tripling the early social buzz of Netflix series “House of Cards.” However, it’s worth noting that “Arrested Development” has the benefit of being a critically acclaimed show and cult favorite with a rabid fan base.

“The firm compared comments on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other sites in the month prior to the debuts on Netflix of ‘Arrested Development,’ ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Lilyhammer,'” explains Variety.

“So far, ‘Arrested Development’ has garnered 170,431 social interactions (77 percent positive, 23 percent negative) since April 26, compared with 51,045 for ‘House of Cards’ (68 percent positive, 32 percent negative) in the 30 days leading up to its Feb. 1 premiere,” notes the article. “For ‘AD,’ Jason Bateman (and his character, Michael Bluth) is the most-cited talent, followed by Michael Cera and Tony Hale.”

“Lilyhammer” generated only 1,857 total mentions prior to its February 2012 debut, while the more recent horror series “Hemlock Grove” generated nearly 9,000 mentions a month before its bow.

By comparison to other high-profile TV shows, NetBase reports that HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received 1.23 million comments in the month before its season 3 premiere and AMC’s “Mad Men” season 6 had 288,605 social mentions during the month before its debut.

“‘AD’ could be sui generis in attracting subscribers, given its cult following,” suggests Variety. “Netflix topper Reed Hastings, in discussing Q1 2013 results, said that ‘House of Cards’ had only a ‘gentle’ effect on subscriber figures. Moreover, it’s conceivable that aficionados of the show will simply cancel Netflix service after they watch the 15 episodes of what promises to be the final season of ‘Arrested Development.’ As has been its practice, Netflix is making all segs available at once to encourage binge-viewing.”

Related stories:
“Arrested Development Kicks Critics in the Teeth at its Own Peril,” Los Angeles Times, 5/24/13
“David Cross on the Return of Arrested Development,” The New York Times, 5/23/13
“Arrested Development Stars’ Surprising Salaries Revealed,” The Hollywood Reporter, 5/22/13
“Netflix: Arrested Devlopment Could Save Q2 Subscriber Count,” Variety, 5/15/13
“Arrested Development Creator on the Future of TV and Bringing Back the Bluths,” Wired, 5/22/13