Fans have been waiting for news on more Arrested Development season five since season four debuted on Netflix, back in 2013. For the most part, the answer from all involved has remained the same: season 5 is coming... at some point.
To be fair, the show's large ensemble cast of in-demand stars and tricky narrative structure don't exactly make it easy to set aside enough time to film an entire season's worth of episodes. Making matters worse is that, for season five, the series will reportedly abandoned the divisive character-focused episodes of season 4, in a bid to recapture the interplay that catapulted the show to cult status in its original run.
Ted Sarandos, head of content acquisition for Netflix, addressed the status of Arrested Development season five, during the 2015 Television Critics Association. Here are a pair of first-hand tweets sharing Sarandos' words at the event:
— Laura Prudom (@LauInLA) July 28, 2015
“It is our intent to have another season of Arrested Development, and negotiations are under way.” #TCA15
— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) July 28, 2015
Arrested Development producer Brian Grazer previous indicated that the show's fifth season could debut on Netflix as soon as mid-2016. However, it's unclear if that's still the case, seeing as Sarandos didn't exactly go into much detail on those plans during the TCA event. The show already has a writers room ready, so it would appear that series creator Mitch Hurwitz and his writing team are currently preoccupied with breaking stories for season 5 (while the contracts and schedules are locked down with the show's extensive ensemble cast).
Shows with just a few main cast members often have a hard enough time solving contract issues, and Arrested Development has nine to work with; that's in addition to a deep well of fan-favorite recurring characters that will likely be called upon to appear in season five. That is to say, this delay is a worthwhile one for fans and Netflix alike, especially if the streaming service is intent on ramping up their original content output going forward.
For many, Arrested Development's introduction to Netflix - along with that of House of Cards - validated its original content division in the first place, setting the stage for subsequent success. The company has done right by Hurwitz's offbeat series thus far, so here is to hoping that trend continues in the future.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on Arrested Development season 5 as this story develops.