The show is “unique because it’s up to the talent” about whether it returns for an additional run, Hastings said in an interview Wednesday with CNBC.
Hastings declined to provide details on how many people watched “Arrested Development” season 4, which debuted on Netflix on Sunday. But, he said, “We had very high expectation from the beginning for ‘Arrested Development’ because it had a well-known brand, and we were thrilled with the response and it’s been huge, just as we hoped.”
Netflix appeared to have strong initial demand for “Arrested Development.” For example, 36% of all devices connected to Netflix via one unspecified DSL network on Sunday streaming at least part of one episode of the show, according to Procera Networks. Still, Netflix’s stock fell more than 6% on Tuesday, possibly in part because of a lukewarm critical reaction to the show.
The fast-growing Internet-video subscription service resurrected “Arrested Development,” which aired on Fox from 2003-06, identifying it as an attractive property to generate buzz and add subscribers.
Asked about Hulu, the Internet TV site in which News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. are selling their stakes, Hastings said on CNBC that the video site would likely be the biggest competitive threat to Netflix if it were not part of a larger media conglom. Buyers said to be bidding for Hulu include Yahoo, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Guggenheim Digital.
“If they were independent, then they would have the most hunger… that might be the most concerning,” he said.
Netflix is not participating in the bidding for Hulu, Hastings noted.