Netflix Stock Slides on Mixed Reviews for 'Arrested Development'
Mixed reviews for Netflix's revival of "Arrested Development" spelled trouble on Wall Street as shares of the streaming giant were down more than 6.3 percent when markets closed on Tuesday.
The company's stock rebounded slightly in pre-market trading, but by then the damage had been done. The company lost more than $14 a share throughout Tuesday, ending the day at $214.19.
Netflix has taken a risky and expensive gamble that original programming like "Arrested Development" and the Kevin Spacey political thriller "House of Cards" can help it differentiate itself from other streaming services like Hulu and Amazon and will make it the HBO of the internet.
That bet seemed to pay off with "House of Cards," which earned solid notices for Spacey's performance and for its depiction of Beltway power players. The company credited buzz surrounding the show with helping it add 3 million new members during its most recent fiscal quarter and its stock surged accordingly.
It was perhaps inevitable that "Arrested Development," a cult TV favorite that was canceled 7 years ago, would disappoint in its modern reincarnation. Reviews weren't savage exactly, but most critics complained that the magic had dissipated with the years and griped that scheduling conflicts meant that many members of the sprawling cast were not able to shoot scenes together.
"I hurts me to write this," TV Guide's Sadie Gennis wrote. "It honestly does. I wanted to love Season 4 as much as I loved the first three, but I'd be lying to myself (and to you) if I ignored its weaknesses. I fell in love with Arrested Development for its density, intricacy and the dysfunctional Bluth family as a whole. But unfortunately, these aspects were absent for the first half of Season 4, exposing the fact that maybe these characters aren't as likable as we want them to be."
The New York Times' Mike Hale echoed these grievances, writing, "it's hard to imagine being anything but disappointed with this new rendition."
Of course, pleasing critics isn't everything. Viewers snapped up the 15 episodes of the new series, which in true Netflix fashion were released all at once, at a furious pace. The number of members watching the show doubled the audience that "House of Cards" attracted when it launched in February, according to a report by the internet research company Procera.
Netflix is keeping the viewing numbers close to its chest, but if its stock doesn't rebound, perhaps will be induced to pull back the veil and do a little boasting.