Mitch Hurwitz on the Future of ‘Arrested Development’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 14th, 2014 at 11:31 am,

arrested development season 4 premiere poster Mitch Hurwitz on the Future of Arrested Development

Despite show creator Mitch Hurwitz’ warnings, many Arrested Development fans binge-watched their way through all 15 episodes of the long-awaited season 4, only to be left wondering if they had just seen the last of the Bluth family. Fortunately, Hurwitz has some answers to questions regarding the show’s future, though they’re not particularly conclusive.

In a new interview, Hurwitz discussed how this season’s open-ended nature allows for more Arrested, how the show is like The Golden Girls, how television syndication isn’t out of the realm of possibility for this latest season, and quantifying success with Netflix.

On whether or not he’s talked to Netflix about season 5 and beyond – courtesy of KCRW’s The Business - Hurwitz said:

“No, not yet, but there’s no doubt that the show ends with a lot of things that could continue to be explored, and that is a function of the fact that it was always designed to be the first act of this movie three act structure – or trilogy, when I was trying to make it as a movie trilogy. Without question, I love these characters and I love these people and it would be just a privilege to do more of them or to make a movie, but we’re not there yet. We’ve been done for an hour. Look how tired I look.”

Prior to discussing the show’s future, Hurwitz was asked about the fourth season’s continued use of ┬átypical sitcom structure (i.e., act breaks). Hurwitz said:

“I would say that you don’t really throw out all the rules when you try something new. I’ve always thought that the big secret of ‘Arrested Development’ is that it’s structured the same way [that] ‘The Golden Girls’ was.”

A former producer on Golden Girls (and also Golden Palace), Hurwitz later added that Arrested continued bleeping curse words because “it just was funnier.”

arrested development season 4 tobias michael Mitch Hurwitz on the Future of Arrested Development

As for how Netflix delivers numbers on the show’s performance, Hurwitz had a somewhat surprising answer:

“They don’t. Reed Hastings says I’d like to do more and Ted [Sarandos] says to me, ‘Wow, this is going great.’ [...] That’s an interesting thing that’s left to be seen in this model – for agents particularly, and managers – how do you charge for the services of their clients when you don’t know how popular a show is?”

It’s a very interesting question that Hurwitz raises and one that could have an impact on the future of the show. Like season 4, any future episodes of Arrested will likely hinge on the availability of the cast, and while they all undoubtedly have love for both Hurwitz and the show, they will surely look to capitalize now that the show doesn’t seem as much of a gamble for Netflix. Will Netflix (or a movie studio?) pay, or will we all be forced to do a sad Charlie Brown walk?

One day, we may know. One day.


Arrested Development is available on Netflix now.

Source: KRCW

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
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  1. They don’t deliver numbers to track the shows performance or they literally have no way to track the shows performance? Just from reading thru I’m not sure but either answer is kinda a letdown.. I loved season 4 and there would be more incentive to do season 5 if they could see how much its helping business. I subscribed to netflix for arrested. I know others who also subscribed for arrested. I wish that could be tracked somehow

    • Netflix can track the numbers, they’re just not handing them out…apparently, to anyone.

  2. Didn’t you post earlier that Hastings said they don’t look at the numbers until a year has gone by?

    • yes you’re right. Because Netflix is an online company, they prefer to wait a year before looking at numbers because not everyone will watch it the week (or day) it was released.

      Just like the previous seasons, heaps of people watched it on dvd after cancellation when it was recommended by a friend. That year long wait is the same thing: other people will get around to watching it, have it recommended to them, sign up for Netflix, etc.

  3. Season 4 ended very poorly imo, as if there was a lot more to tell

    • I think that was the point, so we could all scream for a new season. Hey, it worked last time, let’s just hope it doesn’t take another 6 years.

  4. Check Facebook. I’m sure you can get a basic idea of how many people watched it, and what they thought. I mean, there’s an “Arrested Development” page, up for public view.

    • Watched it where tho?

  5. I loved the new season, But i’ll admit it did end kinda open in several plot points.

    I’d love to see the show continue and sooner rather then later

    • Has no one heard the phrase “always leave them wanting more.” Obviously there is more to tell, just give me more Gob and I’m good.

  6. Oh please god no more! This was one of my favorite shows when it was airing but this 4th season was really forced, awkward, and just plain bad. You can really feel that they arent in the same room as each other in a lot of scenes and the jokes run on way to long to be funny. They end up killing their own humor…i cant be the only one who feels like this. And this is completely subjective but the way the show is shot now just soeant have that same off the cuff feel that it did before and that goes for the performances as well.

    • Could not disagree more. I thought the 4th season was brilliantly written and preformed. I enjoyed the new format because it was fresh and it fit the risk-taking nature the show has always possessed. The story evolved with every episode and although you were given the gist of the plot in the first couple episodes, it’s the last 3 where the story really falls into perspective. I went into this season with lowered expectations as comebacks generally fall flat due to heightened expectations. Cannot wait for more episodes or a movie.

  7. I am with you DreamReel. Everything is so forced in this season. The writing is in now way on par with the first few seasons. It almost feels like its trying to hard and pandering to the fans who like to quote lines from the show. Like when George Sr. calls himself “old big bear” in the first episode….that was so unnatural feeling. It shows stale writing and pandering. The original AD was an organic phenom, that flowed brilliantly and was witty as hell. This new creation not so much. And before people call me out, I get the subtle jokes in this season, they just arent funny. There are some funny moments, but they are few and far between.

  8. After letting the episodes sink in I’ve come to the conclusion that I really liked the new season, but there are flaws in it.

    However, given that Netflix and Imagine stuck their necks out, and the whole production was an experiment in how distribution effects storytelling, I’m happy to give a pass on some nit picky things.

  9. Overall I enjoyed season 4. It wasn’t perfect, but that’s fine. I think Hurwitz and company did the best they could with what they were dealt with.
    That’s why I’d prefer a movie rather than another season. The biggest problem with season 4 IMO was the separation of the cast and if it’s easier to lock everyone up for a 2 month movie shoot V’s a 4-5 month schedule for another season I’ll take the movie.

  10. Make the dang film already. I’d watch an Arrested D. film.

  11. Some of the jokes were forced, Tobias blueing himself for the first time in years wasn’t necessary but it sure was funny.

    I miss Franklin though, maybe Whitey (and African Americaney) will be ready for the things he has to say now.