Netflix Announces 'Arrested Development' Season 5 Is Coming In 2018
Four years ago, Netflix unmade a huge mistake when they brought back Arrested Development for a bird-heavy, chronologically-fractured fourth season. Although the very hyped reunion was met with some disappointment, mostly to do with the logistics of wrangling such a huge cast into the same place at the same time, we've been holding out hope that creator Mitch Hurwitz could figure out a way to get the band together again. And it seems that time is now: Netflix has confirmed that they're bringing back Arrested Development for a fifth season in 2018.
According to Variety, Hurwitz is back, along with the entire series regular cast, including Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat.
"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," said Hurwitz in a statement. "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."
"Arrested Development brings us structures, outerwear and choreography like no other comedy in history,” added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "Season 4 marked the first foray by Netflix into original comedy programming and this time, the Bluths will collectively be spending more quality time with their millions of fans around the world."
There are no details about the plot for the new season, but Hurwitz talked last year about how he was thinking of making it a serialized murder mystery parody, ala popular true crime stories such as Making A Murderer, The Jinx or Serial. He told Deadline at the time that he wanted to continue the story of politician Lindsay Bluth, who ended season four with a “Put up the wall” speech, with all the Trumpian overtones that implied. (Hurwitz also had planned for George Bluth Sr, played by Jeffrey Tambor, to become a woman, but because of Transparent he scrapped it.)
Those plans for season five were held up for over a year because of "complex negotiations with the cast over scheduling... it is unclear yet who will be available to come back as all have other commitments." Which, considering the problems with season four's green screen messiness (since they only had the entire cast together for a few days of filming), could be cause for concern. But the fact they waited this long to announce the new season is a good sign to me—and so is the initial Netflix advertising (see below), which seems to reflect some self-awareness about the concerns.