Three times the Arrested Development

The Bluth family will return.

In a first-of-its-kind deal, Fox has licensed all 53 episodes of its much-loved comedy Arrested Development to MSN, HD Net, and G4. This is the first time a Web portal has grabbed rights to a recent show, and the first time a show will run simultaneously on the Web and cable.

MSN and HDNet will begin airing the show in September, and each has a three-year rights window. MSN will offer the show free to its subscribers and plans on creating a community-driven Web space around the show. HDNet will air the series in high definition.

G4 will begin running Arrested in October, also with a three-year window.

Arrested Development told the tale of the highly dysfunctional Bluth family, headed by prison-bound George (Jeffrey Tambor) and held together by long-suffering Michael (Jason Bateman). The series ran on Fox for three seasons and always attained critical acclaim, winning the Emmy for best comedy in 2004. It never received high ratings, though, and Fox pulled the plug this year.