Mitch Hurwitz Reveals Plot, New Format & More for ‘Arrested Development’ Season 4 [Updated with Images]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 2nd, 2013 at 5:55 am,

Arrested Development Season 4 Cast Header Mitch Hurwitz Reveals Plot, New Format & More for ‘Arrested Development’ Season 4 [Updated with Images]

[Update: We've added newly released images from season 4 down the page.]

Arrested Development season 4 will premiere in its entirety on Netflix in May, though the precise date is still unknown. You can check out the recently released episode list here (14 in all, subject to change), which basically confirmed that every episode will focus on a single member of the nefarious Bluth clan.

At the TCA Press Tour today, creator Mitch Hurwitz went into quite a bit of detail about what’s in store for season 4, including plot details, format, and much, much more. He also talked a bit about the (hopefully) forthcoming movie and unveiled a deleted scene from the new season.

On season 4’s plot – courtesy of The Detroit Free Press – Mitch Hurwitz said:

“The bigger story is the family has fallen apart at the start of our show. They all went their own way, without Michael holding them together, so they’re left to their own devices, and they’re not the most successful devices. […] Each individual [episode] kind of depicts what happens in 2006 as the Bluths fled from the law on the Queen Mary.”

If you recall, in the series season 3 finale – titled “Development Arrested” – Lucille Bluth was revealed to be the mastermind behind all the Bluths’ misdeeds and illegalities (well, most of the big ones, anyway). The SEC, of course, attempted to arrest her, so she made a break for it by commandeering the Queen Mary and setting out to sea.

Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development Mitch Hurwitz Reveals Plot, New Format & More for ‘Arrested Development’ Season 4 [Updated with Images]

We’ve known since season 4 was announced that the episodes therein would focus on one character at a time, though there was some indication that the producers had changed their minds on that. Hurwitz talked about why the “one character per episode” model was necessary for season 4, saying:

“Contractually, we couldn’t use all the characters in every episode; they were not free to do as much television as they want. [As a result], we’re not jumping from one thing to another [as we did in seasons 1-3]; you’re staying with one character [per episode]. [T]he moment you saw in one show will reappear in another show from a different character’s perspective. If people watch it all at once, it will seem like a giant ‘Arrested Development.’ It’s really tailored for Netflix.”

Does this mean that the entire Bluth family won’t be on screen together in season 4?

“You don’t see them all together until you see the movie, [but] I can assure you that the characters are just as damaged, self-involved, and self-righteous as ever.”

One of three outcomes is likely to occur after season 4 is released. 1) Season 4 bombs (or does okay, but not crazy awesome) and the plans for a feature film are scrapped. 2) Season 4 is very successful and a feature film follow-up comes to fruition. 3) Season 4 is very successful and Hurwitz decides to just continue making seasons instead of a movie.

As a fan, does it matter to you if you get a movie or more seasons – or both? Frankly, I’m just happy to be getting more content, no matter what the format of that content takes (within reason – an Arrested Development roleplaying game would be awesome, but it would not satiate my hunger for more live-action AD storytelling).

Michael Cera in Arrested Development Season 4 Mitch Hurwitz Reveals Plot, New Format & More for ‘Arrested Development’ Season 4 [Updated with Images]

On Michael Cera (who plays George Michael, Michael Bluth’s son) joining the writing staff – courtesy of The Huffington Post – Hurwitz said:

“Michael is such a brilliant guy and such a great writer, and I really did bring him in because he’s such an open guy and he wanted to learn this other craft, and suddenly we were very dependent about Michael Cera being in the writers’ room … he understood this complex story and was pitching stories in character.”

Since the release of Juno and Superbad, Michael Cera’s star has undeniably dimmed to a degree. Though he’s obviously very talented and funny, audiences have seemingly gotten annoyed with his tendency to play emo young adults trying to “get the girl” with sarcasm and whatever. I would argue that George Michael does not fall into that same group of characters – he’s just too sincere and down-to-Earth to be, for want of a better term, a “hipster.”

Regardless, I wonder if Cera joining the writing staff is an indication of where he wants to take his career. Could the future of Michael Cera be more on the creative and behind-the-camera side of things?

Other interesting details about season 4 include:

  • Michael Bluth (Jason Batemen) is the only Bluth who will appear in every single episode.
  • Though season 4 will initially take place in 2006 – in the wake of “Development Arrested” – it will eventually bring the characters into the present.
  • The final episode will tease the (hopefully) forthcoming movie by referencing an imminent family reunion.
  • A deleted scene was shown featuring Lucille (Jessica Walter) and Buster (Tony Hale). Lucille is smoking a cigarette in her apartment, where smoking is not allowed, so she keeps blowing the smoke into Buster’s mouth for him to blow it outside for her. He begs her to stop, but she keeps smoking and blowing it into his mouth until he passes out.
  • Hurwitz doesn’t consider season 4 to (technically) be season 4 – it’s act 1 of a three-act story that will be continued in a movie and perhaps additional seasons.
  • The movie is still in the works, but nothing’s guaranteed.
  • There’s a set order to the season, even though each episode takes place concurrently (more or less).
  • Reruns of Arrested Development have been some of the most watched episodes on Netflix instant streaming, which is why Netflix decided to help produce new content for the series.
  • Netflix outbid Showtime for the rights to house Arrested Development season 4.

What are your thoughts on the new Arrested Development season 4 details, Screen Ranters? Are you excited about the new format? A little bit terrified that the new season won’t live up to your impossible expectations? Don’t be shy – drop us a line in the comments.

Update: Just after we posted this article, two new images from season 4 popped up online (courtesy of The first one depicts Michael Bluth having trouble skipping town thanks to a “totally inept” airline worker played by Adam DeVine (Workaholics). The second one features George Michael driving the stair car.

Check them out below:


Michael Bluth Meets a Workaholic in Season 4 280x170 Mitch Hurwitz Reveals Plot, New Format & More for ‘Arrested Development’ Season 4 [Updated with Images]


George Michael Driving the Stair Car in Season 4 280x170 Mitch Hurwitz Reveals Plot, New Format & More for ‘Arrested Development’ Season 4 [Updated with Images]

Ahh, the stair car rides again.

Arrested Development season 4 will be released on Netflix in May 2013.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Sources: The Detroit Free Press, The Huffington Post  &

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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  1. I never had watched a single episode of AD until I heard Netflix was doing a new season. I dialed the show up on Netflix streaming and got hooked. There’s plenty of humor to go around but train-wreck is, perhaps, the best way to describe the Bluth family, and you absolutely can’t take your eyes off it.

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting the new season since watching the last episode.

    • anybody who watches it quickly learns what an ingenious show it is. I’m glad to know you discovered it. I’ve been waiting for more AD for years :D I’m super crazy excited..

    • same here, watched it all end of last year, great stuff

  2. I started watching this show at the beginning if season two when it originally aired and thought it was amazing immediately. I own all three seasons and have loaned it out to so many people and I know no one who has not liked it, my wife included. I’ve probably watched every episode more times than I could count on Netflix. The best part about Arrested development is the fact that no matter how many times we watch it, the show is always funny, yes certain episodes are funnier than others but all episodes are still great. The little things are what make this show funny, from the blue hand prints on the wall, to the danger sound being played in, season two, whenever the word seal or hand is mentioned leading up to buster getting the hook if they stick to the little things like that I think it will all work. That and just let the actors do their thing.

    • dont forget carl weathers, and burger king (the product placement from the motherboy episode haha sooo funny), and Mr F!! ahhh so many great jokes in that show.. its so quotable too! “I’ve made a terrible mistake.” “STEVE HOLT!!” “baby you got a stew goin!” “I just blue myself.” I can go on but you get the idea

  3. This is the happiest day of my life, including the birth of my second child.

  4. This show has the best writing since The Wire, and that is saying a lot. I watch all three seasons on Netflix at least once a year, but sometimes more.

  5. i hope ron howard will provide his snarky narration. that was some of the funniest bits, and hopefully bob loblaw will make a few appearances as well. this was/is an amazing show and i cant believe it got cancelled when it did, and here we are, 6 years later, with new episodes on the way. yay!

    • Both Ron Howard and Bob Loblaw are confirmed!

  6. Great show always had me laughing….can’t wait to see what they come up with on Netflix

  7. One of the best television shows of all time. Not sure I like the sound of this new format though. The interactions between the characters is the best part.

  8. The new format has me a little scared too, but I like the sounds of each episode playing together like they are all happening at the same time. That could make for some really funny nuances and little things you pick up on with multiple rewatches, that work so well for arrested development. I can’t wait.

  9. Although an official release date has not been disclosed it seems that there is a May date on all of the “easter eggs” that netflix has released. May 19th (sunday) is the expiration for these fake films related to arrested development. Could this be a clue to the release date of the new season?

  10. First season was Great/HILARIOUS, but half way through the second season it just became gilligans island where they’d fine something to save them and some1 would blow it, thats fine, but EVERY episode? Just got tiresome and the writing didnt seem as witty as the first season. The third season just went bat sh*t crazy, which again, is fine if it was actually funny but they kept using the same jokes over and over and over….and over… Im excited for the 4th season and hope these 6 years off gave them some new material.