It looks like Jason Bateman’s Arrested Development tweet from last week was in fact confirmation of a new season for the show, as Netflix has confirmed that they have greenlit a fifth season.
Deadline is reporting that Bateman won’t be the only Bluth family member making a return either, as co-stars Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, and Alia Shawkat, have all signed on for a fifth season, which will premiere on Netflix sometime in 2018. Creator/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz will also return.
“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. “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.”
According to Hurwitz, he outline a new season more than a year ago, but complex negotiations with the cast over scheduling conflicts delayed production. He also admits that the Trump presidency has forced him to have to rewrite certain storylines.
“Arrested Development brings us structures, outerwear and choreography like no other comedy in history,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “Season Four 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.”
“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,” said executive producer Ron Howard, who also narrates the series. Added executive producer Brian Grazer, “I love working with Mitch. He is a genius and the rarest of original thinkers.”
The fourth season of Arrested Development, which aired on Netflix back in 2013, was an important building block in Netflix’s original content creation, which was still in its infancy at that point in time. Unfortunately, many fans viewed the season as a disappointment, primarily because it changed the show’s structure dramatically by having episodes focus on individual characters, robbing the show of the ensemble dynamic that helped make it such a cult hit. It’s unclear whether the fifth season will adopt the same format or find a way to have the characters interact more frequently.