Since Arrested Development‘s initial cancellation in 2006, Will Arnett has taken a lot of swings at the TV show pinata, missing more often than not.
Running Wilde has its supporters (me among them) and it had Mitch Hurwitz and Jim Vallely from Arrested behind the scenes, but it never clicked with a large audience. Up All Night and The Millers, however, seemed as though they might be on the expressway to syndication after strong debuts, but then the former got tampered to death and the latter simply ran out of gas after 29 episodes — these were Arnett’s attempts to go mainstream. On the fringes, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and Bojack Horseman have been more successful, but Arnett didn’t drive Margaret and Horseman is an animated Netflix show and not live-action. If you combine all of these projects, though, you might just get Arnett’s next stab at a long-term TV job.
The Arrested Development star is back at Netflix, where he’ll star in his own creation, Flaked. Set in the insular world of Venice, Calif., it’s the serio-comic story of a self-appointed “guru,” Chip, who falls for the object of his best friend’s fascination. Soon the tangled web of half-truths and semi-bullsh*t that underpins his all-important image and sobriety begins to unravel.
The streaming service has ordered eight episodes of the original comedy, which will bow exclusively across all Netflix territories in 2016.
Arnett will write the series alongside his co-creator Mark Chappell (The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret), with Electus founder Ben Silverman, manager Peter Principato and Arrested creator Mitch Hurwitz joining the pair as executive producers.
Arnett has done his best work as Gob Bluth on Arrested and Devon Banks on 30 Rock, so a faux-guru character feels like a natural progression and his familiarity with Hurwitz and Chappell should help to make the creative process as smooth as possible, but I’m most excited about the alignment with Netflix. At worst, this is another fringey hit for Arnett. At best, it’s an impact comedy and a critical hit for Netflix and a place where Arnett can settle in and create for a long while without stressing over every tenth of a rating point.