Fans everywhere just about “blue” themselves when they heard the news that Arrested Development would be making its return. Though the Fox show was canceled in 2006, it has since gained a cult following, thanks mostly to a generation which turns to Netflix for entertainment.
And the 13- or 14-episode release coming up in May won’t just be a big moment for the show; it will also pave the way for Netflix original series. In the coming year, Netflix will debut a total of six series only available through the service, following in the footsteps of HBO and Showtime. Netflix series will also be eligible for Emmys, and for the first time, the service made its way to the semiannual Television Critics Association meeting in Pasadena, Calif., where the Arrested Development panel was a highlight Wednesday.
Show creator Mitch Hurwitz spoke to USA Today about the possible film that could follow the series, which is the “first act to what we eventually want to do, which is a big movie,” although the movie is far from a certainty.
The fourth season, which will be made available on Netflix all at once this May, will focus on what has happened to the Bluths since 2006, when we last said goodbye to them and the family went its separate ways. Each episode will focus on a separate character, with Michael (Jason Bateman) being the only character to appear in every episode.
“Contractually, we couldn’t use all the characters in every episode; they were not free to do as much television as they want,” Hurwitz said, explaining how many of the actors are now busy doing other shows, which spurred conflicts. The entire family never appears together in one shot, although Hurwitz did say that should the movie come to fruition, the family reunion will happen then.
Michael Cera, who played the adolescent George Michael, is now a writer for the show, which isn’t the only change-up in the writing process. With the entire season becoming available all at once instead of airing one episode a week, the show is getting a bit of a facelift.
“Part of the experience of waiting for the next episode (forces) the need to create artificial cliffhangers (that) ultimately dilute the storytelling,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content creator, told USA Today.
Hurwitz echoed Sarandos’ sentiments, explaining, “If people watch it all at once, it will seem like a giant Arrested Development. It’s really tailored for Netflix.”
The episode titles were released late last year and reflect the idea that each episode will catch us up with one of the characters:
“George Sr. 1”
“George Sr. 2”
“George Michael 1”
“George Michael 2”
Though the revamped Arrested Development will have a new feel, fans are sure to be pleased with the return of the dysfunctional family. I know I, for one, couldn’t be more excited to see the characters return with new story lines.
And even if it fails, at least there’s always money in the banana stand.