Netflix's Reed Hastings Mulls 'Arrested Development' Season 5; Plans Boost to Original Content Funding

Tim Kenneally
The Wrap

Good news, "Arrested Development" fans; Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says that a fifth season of the series -- which was revived on the streaming service earlier this month -- isn't out of the question.

And here's some good-er news: Netflix plans to pour more money into original programming -- such as a potential fifth season of "Arrested Development."

Also read: Netflix Stock Slides on Mixed Reviews for 'Arrested Development'

Hastings appeared on CNBC on Wednesday and revealed that his company is open to another season of the series, if the cast members are available.

"'Arrested's' unique, because that's up to the talent," Hastings said when the possibility of more episodes was broached. "If the talent were willing to do more and interested in that, I'm sure we'd be willing."

Also read: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Defends 'Arrested Development': Fans Love the Show (Exclusive)

The 15-episode fourth season of "Arrested Development" drew mixed reviews over the weekend, with a common complaint being that there wasn't enough interaction among characters, which could have been attributed to cast inavailability. Since the series ended its original run on Fox in 2006, many of the cast members, such as Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera and David Cross, have become in-demand talents.

Despite the mixed reviews -- and a slide in stock value for Netflix on Tuesday, days after the new "Arrested Development" season premiered -- Hastings said that Netflix was happy with its performance.

Also read: 'Arrested Development': What Critics Think of the Bluths on Netflix

"Social buzz is off the charts," Hastings told TheWrap during an interview Wednesday at the AllThingsD conference. "Every negative review of the show is accompanied by 50 to 100 slams to the critic in the comments section. There's no question that the fans love the show."

Meanwhile, should Cross find the time to slip into the denim short-shorts once again, Netflix will likely have the cash on hand to make it a reality.

The company's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, appeared at the Nomura 3rd Annual U.S. Media & Telecom Summit in New York on Thursday and revealed that the company plans to triple the amount it spends on original content over the next few years, spending up to 15 percent of its licensing budget on original shows.

In addition to "Arrested Development," Netflix also runs the original series "Hemlock Grove" and "House of Cards," and will premiere the series "Orange Is the New Black," from "Weeds" creator Jenji Kohan, later this year. The company hopes to roughly double its original titles over the next year and a half.

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