That Arrested Development renewal you’ve been waiting on has at long last been formalized.
Netflix on Wednesday confirmed that it has officially greenlit a fifth season of Mitchell Hurwitz’ family farce, with the entire main cast — including Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat — reprising their signature roles.
The new season will bow in 2018. An episode count was not revealed.
In a shade-throwing statement that likens the Bluths to America’s First Family, series creator Mitchell Hurwitz said, “In talks with Netflix we all felt that that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days. I am so grateful to them and to 20th TV for making this dream of mine come true in bringing the Bluths, George Sr., Lucille and the kids; Michael, Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, George-Michael, and who am I forgetting, oh Tiffany. Did I say Tiffany? — back to the glorious stream of life.”
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos hinted that in Season 5 “the Bluths will collectively be spending more quality time with their millions of fans around the world,” a possible nod to Season 4’s polarizing standalone-character format.
As TVLine previously reported, Season 5 may include 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 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 recycle the maligned character-centric conceit. “More of the episodes can now include all of the original cast together, with lots of big group family scenes,” said a source.