It looks like the Bluth Family will be returning to Netflix, but when is still anyone’s guess. Arrested Development, the story of Michael, the only decent human being in a family of borderline sociopaths and upper class white collar criminals was one of the very best television shows of the mid-aughts, and was revived by Netflix as the crown-jewel of their first phase of original programming early last year.
Shortly before the launch of Season 4, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was confident that no new seasons would be produced, but that was followed up by a quick, but not definite rebuttal by Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos saying, in essence, that anything was possible. Now Sarandos seems to be a little more confident that season 5 will happen - but still isn’t making any promises or setting any time-tables.
In an interview with USA Today, Sarandos is apparently "positive that another season of Arrested Development is in the offing." At the very least the network seems on board to produce more episodes. And with series creator, Mitch Hurwitz all in, It’s just a matter of the cast’s availability, which Sarandos says is the main concern with moving forward with Season 5.
Sarandos made no mention of the Arrested Development Movie, which as far as we know is still loosely in the works, but is similarly hampered by the availability of the show’s leads - namely Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief), Jessica Walters (Archer) and Tony Hale (Veep), who have all gained significant notoriety since the Fox series premiered.
The cast schedule plagued season 4’s production and resulted in the fourth chapter being structured as a series of overlapping concurrent episodes, rather than a serial. This allowed very few of the show’s stars to share stage time, letting the talent shoot season 4 during the days they had off from other more lucrative projects. This format wasn’t overly well received by audiences, but by and large it was agreed that any new episodes of Arrested Development were a good thing, however they might be cut up.
Long before Netflix was confidently reviving abandoned series, developing their own projects, and securing Emmy nods, the network dipped it’s toes in the water of content production with this much loved (and little watched) program. It’s nice to see they’re still giving the Bluths their due.
There is no planned production schedule or release date for either the movie or Season 5 of Arrested Development, but we'll keep you updated when official details surface.
Arrested Development seasons 1-4 are currently available to view on Netflix.