Arrested Development Return 'Date' Announced -- Plus: Scoop on the New Episodes and a Movie

Arrested Development Return Date, SpoilersGet ready to blue yourself in 3…2…1….

Netflix — at long last — formally announced at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena on Wednesday that its revival of the beloved comedy Arrested Development will premiere in May. (Last week, a specific drop date of May 4 made rounds, but was promptly shot down by Netflix reps.)

Though AD‘s Season 4 return* was originally pegged for 10 new episodes, Netflix also confirmed that the order has been boosted to 14.

In addition to the original ensemble from the Fox series returning in largely character-centric episodes, guest stars on tap for the relaunch include Liza Minnelli (reprising her of Lucille Austero), Conan O’Brien, John Slattery (Mad Men), Chris Diamantopoulos (24), Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers) and Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris).

Here are the highlights from Wednesday’s Arrested Development panel at TCA:

SHOCK AND AWWW | When asked if he ever thought they’d be back at TCA promoting Arrested Development, creator Mitch Hurwitz confessed with a laugh: “I just always kind of held out hope that this would all work out… We shouldn’t be here. I accept that premise.”

CHOOSE YOUR OWN BLUTH ADVENTURE | While Hurwitz & Co. were careful to reveal very (very!) little about the upcoming Arrested revival plot-wise, they were forthcoming with talk of the series new and its “very different” form. “The only way we could get everyone together for what we’ll call, loosely, an anthology series, was to dedicate each episode to a different character’s point of view,” the showrunner explained. “That became a fun, entertaining challenge, because we started finding out that the stories would intersect…. So, you’ll see a scene in one [episode], and then you’ll see a scene again from the other perspective [in another episode] where you’ll get all this new information.” Added Bateman: “Exclusive to the format that Netflix provides for us… you can watch a portion of Michael’s episode and then click over to Lucille’s episode,” and so on. The unique format means that the upcoming batch of episodes really just creates “this one giant, 700-minute Arrested Development,” Hurwitz joked.

* MOVIE MAGIC | If all goes as planned, Arrested still may be headed for the big screen. Netflix’s upcoming relaunch is “basically just the first act of what we hope to continue and complete in a movie, which would be Act 2 and Act 3,” Bateman explained. “These [new] are episodes set that up. One does not work without the other.” The actor also clarified that the episodes slated to hit the streaming site in May, while new, do not comprise a fourth season of the series, as has been reported. “It was mislabeled early on,” he said. “There is certainly a satisfying conclusion to these episodes, if for some unfortunate reason the movie does not happen. But [the episodes and the movie] are all meant to work within each other as a hybrid package of Arrested Development stuff.”

A ‘HOW TO’ GUIDE | All 14 of the fresh Arrested adventures will be released at once, but, said Hurwitz, “There is an order that we have put them together to create the maximum number of surprises. If you watch it in the order that we prescribe, you’ll get to, say, Episode 4 and realize that’s why [a character] did that in Episode 1.” Also of note: Each offering is slated to be just under 30 minutes long.

PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL | In addition to reprising his role as George Michael, Michael Cera has joined the Arrested writing team. “Michael is such a brilliant guy and such a great writer,” Hurwitz gushed. “I really did bring him in because he’s such an open guy and wants to learn this other craft… And then suddenly we were very dependent on Michael Cera being in the writers’ room. It became clear that [Arrested Development] was like his first language.”

MOMMY DEAREST | The one tease Jessica Walter would part with is that she has, as Lucille Bluth, has “finally gotten to play Joan Crawford with laughs.”

REUNITED… AND IT FEELS SO GOB | While each ep will be devoted to a single character, the Bluths will all be together again on-screen at one point or another. “Everybody intermingles throughout each individual person’s episode,” Bateman revealed. “There’s plenty of the regular cast that filters through there. But it is [a single character's episode] that we all just guest-star in.”

 

What say you, Bluth lovers? Hit the comments with your snappy judgements!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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23 Comments
  1. Superhero says:

    Taste the happy!

  2. Jon says:

    Gosh, I hope this is good. I don’t think I’ll be able to live with myself if it turns out to be bad.

  3. Joe says:

    I just blue’d myself

  4. Sarah says:

    Does anyone know if this is the same for Netflix Canada?

  5. Ryan says:

    Laughing at them trying to backtrack on that May 4 date. That date was clearly correct coming from Fox themselves, but someone effed up and now they’ll change it. Too bad they can’t change the 14 episodes and the order that were leaked too.

  6. Sam says:

    I just finished watching all the seasons on Netflix the other day so I’m pumped about this. And mad at anyone I knew who was into this show before for not telling me how great it is!

  7. Tvaddic says:

    And the Workaholic guys will make a guest appearance!!!1

  8. RD says:

    How can I not be excited?

  9. sarah says:

    So freaking excited, however I hope they put it on DVD eventually as I do not have netflix!

  10. Brigette says:

    I love everything about this article, okay? Every single little thing.

  11. Catherine says:

    I may just have to get a Netflix subscription when May rolls around :)

  12. Eliza says:

    Very, very excited!!!

  13. erin says:

    Why was I under the impression that the movie was definitely happening, and confirmed and official?? I’m in a bit of a panic right now thinking about the fact that it might not happen..

  14. Mindy says:

    Please let this be good. Please let this be good. Please let this be good….

  15. HFP says:

    Will this be streaming only or DVD as well?>

  16. Sarabi says:

    COME ON!

  17. Izadora says:

    …Not sure how much I like the idea of each episode being devoted to a single character. I liked seeing Michael as the main guy, surrounded by this hilariously crazy family.

  18. Lisa Morgan says:

    ITS ABOUT TIME!!! The best show ever done…..was so wrongly stopped….LET’s GO!~ Keep on going after the movie too…..nothing has ever been funnier for the intelligent ridiculous fun people!

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