Fans 'binge' as Netflix revives Arrested Development

David Cross and Portia de Rossi in Arrested Development David Cross and Portia de Rossi have returned for the new series of Arrested Development

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US sitcom Arrested Development has been revived after an absence of seven years, with many devoted fans devouring all 15 new episodes after they were made available in one go.

The show, which was recently dubbed the "greatest sitcom ever" by The Guardian, was axed by the Fox network in 2006.

But a new series has been made and aired by streaming service Netflix.

The series is the latest attempt by Netflix to tempt viewers away from traditional TV channels.

The company previously made waves in the TV industry by bypassing established networks and filming its own remake of British political drama House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey. All 13 episodes were made available at once in February.

Arrested Development established a cult following during its original three series on Fox from 2003-2006 and its return has been met with huge anticipation from its loyal fans.

Gavin and Stacey actor Matthew Horne wrote on Twitter: "I KNOW the sun is shining, but the new Arrested Development is on Netflix... so, goodbye Sunday."

US author and Veronica Mars screenwriter Rob Thomas posted: "Netflix just emailed me that Arrested Development is online now. No one bother me for the next 7.5 hours. Hungry children - this means you."

Before the new series appeared, creator Mitch Hurwitz told fans to pace themselves. "Don't feel obligated to watch it all at once," he told the Vulture website. "It's a comedy! It's not like Lord of the Rings. Comedy takes a lot out of you."

And Forbes.com writer Dorothy Pomerantz said she would savour the experience because it might be the last time key personnel including executive producer and narrator Ron Howard and actor Jason Bateman would find time to film together.

She wrote: "I'm going to take my time with Arrested Development and enjoy it like an old-fashioned TV show: one a week. I want the fun to last as long as possible."

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