Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos is "positive" that a fifth season of Arrested Development is on the way. "It's just a matter of when," he recently told USA Today. Sarandos also admitted that getting the show's cast together to make season four proved to be a challenge; fans disappointed about a lack of scenes involving the whole ensemble have "a valid criticism," he said. For the fourth season, each episode revolved around a single Bluth, a creative decision that was clearly influenced by talent constraints.
Presumably Netflix and Mitch Hurwitz would try to do better if there is indeed another season, though Arrested Development's stars are still plenty busy with other acting commitments. Showrunners are likely to face the exact same challenge, so it will be interesting to see if Hurwitz pursues a similar story structure or holds off in hopes of really getting everyone together — which could prove nearly impossible. During the interview, Sarandos also reiterated that Orange is the New Black remains Netflix's most popular original series. He's been surprised by 'the size and scope of Orange and how mainstream it's become," though we wouldn't expect to hear otherwise from Netflix's content boss.
But Netflix's top executives still fully recognize that competition is fierce, and they're still relatively new to the original programming game. In fact, today CEO Reed Hastings offered up some nice words about HBO. "They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy's, but we are making progress," he wrote on Facebook. "HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league." Hastings noted that he "loved Silicon Valley," though also joked that it "hit a little close to home." Hastings' Facebook post wasn't meant to simply compliment HBO, though. He used it to share a Netflix milestone: last quarter, the company surpassed HBO in subscriber revenue, bringing in $1.146 billion against HBO's $1.141 billion.