Arrested Development Season 5 Prequel

Arrested Development's Surprising Season 5 Premise/Format Revealed — It's Going to Be Part [Spoiler]!

Get ready to see the Bluth clan like you’ve never seen them before — and we mean that literally.

Although Netflix declined to confirm/comment, TVLine has learned exclusively that Arrested Development‘s long-gestating fifth season will likely have a major prequel element, with potentially half of the action unfolding in flashbacks featuring much younger versions of all the principal characters (played by different actors).

The move, which an insider notes isn’t entirely set in stone, would go a long way in clearing Season 5’s major scheduling hurdle (i.e. corralling the insanely busy cast at the same time) without having to resort to Season 4’s polarizing standalone-character format. “More of the episodes can now include all of the original cast together, with lots of big group family scenes,” says a source.

Arrested Development EP Brian Grazer hinted at a possible scheduling-related format shakeup earlier this month at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, telling reporters, “I think we found a way to create the compensation structure for all the actors and create a work matrix so they can still make movies and do other things and it will all integrate.”

Grazer previously teased that Season 5 would feature 17 new episodes. Rumor has it production is slated to begin in June.

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  1. A says:

    This seems like a terrible idea.

    No one’s tuning in to see other actors play these parts.

    Even the flashbacks with Wiig as Lucille in season 4 were amusing but a distraction from the real goods.

  2. Rob says:

    This is a bad idea for so many reasons. Why not just schedule them for 6 solid episodes and call it a day? We’d rather have the original cast for 6 episodes of a narrative than 17 episodes wherein half of them are relegated to new actors taking on these roles.

    • Michael says:


    • Jason says:

      My thoughts exactly. This means we’ll get lots of unnecessary filler-episodes.

    • Raftrap says:

      I agree with this, while I did enjoy Wiig and Rogen as young Lucille and George, every other time the show got away from the central characters it felt horribly wrong in season 4, so 6 episodes, 5 episodes, 4 or whatever small number of correctly made episodes would be the right thing to do. But to be fair, I’d rather have a not that good season 5 than no season 5 at all. I wish watching Arrested Development wasn’t so complicated and they could just give us a season without all these weird compromises.

    • DV says:

      “We’d”? You don’t speak for me

    • TV Gord says:

      I don’t agree. While it’s great to have as much and as many of the original cast interacting as often as possible, the real star of this show is the writing. I think it would be a hoot-and-a-half to see younger versions of the Bluths, if it’s executed properly. I could see them working in some clever meta humor about pulling this all off.

      I don’t understand how people who grasp the whimsy of this wonderful series are so prepared to give in to the knee-jerk reaction of saying no without any idea of how it would turn out. It could be brilliant! At least, consider the possibility.

  3. maltru says:

    I though Kristen Wiig as a young Lucille was humorous, so I’ll keep an open mind about this.

  4. Steven says:

    Would they get Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig back as younger George and Lucille?

  5. Kyle says:

    “Played by different actors”? No. Just no.

  6. Chris says:

    I’d be open to it depending on the cast but definitely hesitant about this.

  7. Et al says:

    If they must split the cast (an idea I do not love) why not move the story forward by having some of the present day developments take place as an episode/episodes of Scandalmakers?

  8. J says:

    This sounds like a bad idea. The characters work because of the actors, just subbing in younger actors via flashbacks to make a long season possible is dumb

  9. dave says:

    What happened to if you can’t do it right don’t do it at all? Seriously

  10. AlSw says:

    No thanks.

  11. Gina says:

    It’s been said already but I don’t like this. I want another season, but not like this. I tune in to see the original actors playing the characters that I love. I don’t want to see younger versions of them.
    please, please rethink this.

  12. Jasonbres says:

    Oh, sure, Arrested Development Babies! What a marvelous idea!! After all, it worked on So You Think You Can Dance!!!

  13. Ben says:

    Not a fan of this idea at all

  14. Jamie says:

    Good thing this isn’t set in stone because this is an awful idea. Hopefully they’ll change their minds. I need absolutely *no one* to play Gob but Will Arnett.

  15. Derek says:

    Here’s a thought: Maybe instead of the actors forcing the studio and producers to bend over backwards to accommodate them, why don’t the actors just clear their schedules and do the episodes together? “Oh, but they’re so popular and busy now!” That argument isn’t good enough. They know full well that the ensemble format is what works best, and that it’s what the fans of this show want, so I wish they’d be more accommodating themselves and commit more of their time. If not, then I really don’t care to see another “half-assed” season.

  16. Christoffer Rasmussen says:

    Stop doing this show. You are ruining it’s legacy.

    • Exactly. I’ve always thought the original series ended well, and while I thought it’d be nice to get a fourth season, they ruined it in the fourth season. I don’t even count that as a season of Arrested Development because it didn’t feel like it. This news makes it sound like they haven’t really learned from their mistakes. If the actors are too busy to be involved in a quality show, it’s time to let it go. Don’t pull strings and make sacrifices just for the sake of it. Do it right or don’t do it at all.

  17. Zach says:

    I’m not opposed to this idea. The J. Walter Weatherman flashbacks were always hysterical, and I’ve often wanted to see more of the Bluths growing up. It was indicated that Michael and Lindsay were fairly close as children, yet we’ve seen almost none of that. Honestly, I’d take more AD in any shape or form.

  18. HugeMistake says:

    They’ve made a huge mistake.

  19. Tia says:

    Soooo excited about the return of this show. It is what’s needed today. Please sign the show for as many years as possible. Perhaps then the original cast will return and be locked in for many seasons to come. Anxiously awaiting the return of such an extraordinary show with an phenomenal cast, and for many laughs to come. Until then I’ll continue to revisit seasons 1-4.

  20. Santana says:

    I’ll take it! Whatever. It will be funny.

  21. Nacanieli says:

    Everything would’ve been fine if FOX didn’t screw up by cancelling the show back in ’06

    • Beth says:

      Unfortunately, Fox did, I curse them often for doing that. I can’t wait for the new season to come out if the writers are the same and they pick the right actors to do the younger characters it should be good. I’ll just be glad to have another season.