‘Arrested Development’ downloaded illegally by 100,000 fans in 24 hours

The new season of the cult US sitcom is supposed to be exclusive to Netflix

The new season of Arrested Development prompted a flurry of online piracy as soon as it premiered.

Having revived the cult US sitcom after a seven-year hiatus, Netflix launched 15 brand new episodes simultaneously this Sunday (May 26). Original cast members Jason Bateman (pictured below), Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett and Michael Cera have all reprised their roles as members of the eccentric and dysfunctional Bluth clan.

However, many fans chose to bypass the online subscription service by tracking down the series on pirating websites. Around 100,000 people downloaded new episodes illegally within 24 hours of the show’s return, reports digital media website paidContent.

That’s a hefty total, but Arrested Development is some way behind the most pirated show on the internet, Game Of Thrones, whose season premiere this April (2013) was illegally downloaded by over a million people in 24 hours.

Arrested Development was originally broadcast on US network Fox between 2003 and 2006. Despite being a critics’ favourite and winning six Emmy awards, the show was dropped after three seasons because of low ratings.

The new season has received mixed reviews from TV critics and the show’s revised format – whereby each episode revolves around a single member of the Bluth clan – is proving divisive. Earlier this year (2013), the show’s creator Mitch Hurwitz revealed that he wants to follow the new episodes with a full-length Arrested Development feature film.