Arrested Development will officially return for Season 5 in 2018
VOD News | On 17, May 2017
Arrested Development is officially returning for Season 5, Netflix has announced.
To call the fifth season of Mitch Hurwitz’s comedy anticipated would be an understatement: ever since Netflix resurrected the cancelled sitcom for a fourth run, fans have been clamouring for another reunion of the Bluth family. The sheer size – and success – of the family, though, has been the eternal thorn in the programme’s side, as it has been so hard for all of the cast to find a time in their schedules when they’re all available. Indeed, finding an inventive solution around that practicality is what led to Season 4’s decidedly lukewarm reception.
Now, though, days after Jason Bateman revealed that he had officially put pen to paper on a new season, Netflix has announced that the the whole gang, including Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat, will be back together again, with shooting looking likely to start this summer.
“In talks with Netflix we all felt that that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days,” said Hurwitz in a statement. “I am so grateful to them and to 20th TV for making this dream of mine come true in bringing the Bluths, George Sr., Lucille and the kids; Michael, Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, George-Michael, and who am I forgetting, oh Tiffany. Did I say Tiffany? — back to the glorious stream of life.”
“Arrested Development brings us structures, outerwear and choreography like no other comedy in history,” added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “Season 4 marked the first foray by Netflix into original comedy programming and this time, the Bluths will collectively be spending more quality time with their millions of fans around the world.”
Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman added: “Arrested Development remains one of the iconic franchises we, Ron and Brian are asked about most. It’s a testament to the brilliance of Mitch’s creation, the passion of his audience, and the love his cast holds in their hearts for his writing and characters that we have been able to get the band back together not once but twice since the Emmy-winning original run. Get ready, America. The Bluths are coming back.”
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) May 17, 2017
Hurwitz will serve as executive producer on the new season, alongside Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Jim Vallely and Richie Rosenstock.
“I love working with Mitch. He is a genius and the rarest of original thinkers. He brings a richness to the characters and the storylines that makes the series memorably fun,” commented Grazer.
Howard, who has been the faithful narrator for the programme over the years, said: “Whew! I can finally answer the question … Hell yes! Warming up my uncredited narrator vocal chords. Now the only thing I will have to be coy about is all the craziness the Bluths are going to face this season.”
Season 5 will be released globally on Netflix in 2018.
Arrested Development Season 5 gets one step closer
13th May 2017
Arrested Development Season 5 just took one step closer to being a reality this week, with the news that Jason Bateman has officially put pen to paper on a new season.
Talk about a new run for Mitch Hurwitz’s sitcom has been rife ever since Netflix resurrected the show for a fourth season, a revival that became something of a flagship original programme for the streaming giant. But the logistics of bringing together a cast that has since gone on to become increasingly famous and successful has been a major obstacle to bringing the series back – indeed, Season 4’s decision to shoot most of their scenes separately was a major factor in its lukewarm reception among fans.
Nonetheless, exec producer Brian Glazer said two years ago he was working on a new batch of episodes, with Netflix’s Ted Sarandos also hinting at wanting to do a fifth season. Creator Mitch Hurwitz has also previously said he’s sketched out a new run, but wouldn’t write anything until the cast were officially attached.
That cast, of course, includes Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross and Jessica Walter. As of yesterday, Bateman has inked an agreement for more episodes, teasing at production starting as soon as this year.
“Look very probable I’m going to put some miles on the Stair Car this summer,” he tweeted. “Just officially signed on to more ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT today.”
Look very probable I'm going to put some miles on the Stair Car this summer. Just officially signed on to more ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT today.
— Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) May 12, 2017
There has been no official word from 20th Century Fox, which produces the show, or any comments from Hurwitz or Netflix. But with Bateman on board the Stair Car once more, that’s one down and seven more to go. And in this business we call show, that’s the biggest step closer to Arrested Development’s return yet.
Mitch Hurwitz has recut Arrested Development’s fourth season
20th May 2017
Here’s some good news that’s as refreshing as having a mango in your mouth: Arrested Development’s fourth season has been recut.
Season 4 was one of the streaming service’s high-profile early originals, reviving the cancelled comedy to the delight of Bluth fans everywhere. Until, that is, they watched them and found them longer, slower and freed from the hyperactive ensemble format of the first three seasons, instead focusing on one character at a time.
Work has since been done, though, to convert them back into the classic AD style.
Speaking to Esquire about his new Netflix series, Lady Dynamite, Hurwitz confirmed that there is a recut “like the old Arrested Developments”, with new narration of a “few little” reshoots to fit it all together.
“Now we have 22 episodes, and they’re delightful to watch and they’re much less work than the Netflix series,” admitted Hurwitz.
The shorter, approximately 20-minute episodes, though, may not appear on Netflix – at least, not just yet, as Esquire reports that the changes have been done so they can be aired on traditional TV.
“My hope is we’ll find a place to air those,” said Hurwitz.
He also said that Season 5 will “definitely” happen, although not before the US election. In fact, a script’s already been written to incorporate the Presidential race, Donald Trump, and more timely topics
“I’m always trying to move forward with that project regardless of what else is going on in my life,” he added.
“One of the challenges has been a big studio owns it and they don’t make TV this way typically. They sign actors for multiple years of a show, and then they shoot. We’ll get half of the actors available and we won’t quite commit to making the deal, then we’ll lose the other half of the actors. I spent some time in the writers room developing an outline for the next season or seasons if we’re able to make a deal. I’m trying very hard to get it done because we have a great story to tell. The clock is ticking. We were putting up a wall before Trump was. There were so many things like that. We had a political race that was going to continue in the fifth season.”
“It’s definitely going to happen,” he continued. “I say that because the actors want to do it, the studio wants to do it, Netflix wants to do it, I want to do it. It’s just making it happen. There’s no one resisting.”
New season of Arrested Development set for mid-2016?
3rd June 2015
A new season of Arrested Development is making its way to your Netflix account next year, according to producer Brian Grazer.
Mitch Hurwitz’s series, which was resurrected by Netflix in 2013 for a fourth season following its cancellation by Fox, follows the highly dysfunctional Bluth family, as they attempt to save their property development company from going completely off the rails. While the much-anticipated fourth run was not a return to form, speculation has been rife surrounding the prospect of another, with cast members including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, David Cross, Michael Cera and Jeffrey Tambor all apparently up for reprising their roles.
Therein lies the problem, though: the size of the cast, and the fact that they have all gone on to become famous, makes it harder to get the band back together. For Season 4, that meant filming parts individually and editing them together into episodes that followed separate characters – an ingenious piece of production, but one that produced mixed results for audiences.
But Grazer, who has been an Executive Producer on the show for no fewer than 52 episodes (and also played himself for two of them), confirmed that this has not deterred them from having another Bluth reunion.
“Netflix is determined to do more episodes, so we’re gonna do more episodes,” he told Adam Corolla
on his podcast yesterday.
“Everyone’s become a star,” he added, “so we’re gonna juggle all these schedules…”
That means it will take some time until the stars align – specifically, 2016, with an eye for a releasing them in the middle of the year.
Grazer revealed that he had just called Hurwitz in Corolla’s green room after a conversation with Fox to let him know that “everybody’s into it”. Production is expected to start on the new episodes “after the 1st of the year”, with them expected to be ready to air “four months after that”.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we just blue ourselves.
For more on Arrested Development, read our interviews with the cast at the Season 4 premiere.
Photo: Stuart Wilson / Getty Images for Netflix