‘Arrested Development’ Officially Returning for Season 5 at Netflix

Arrested Development
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It’s official: “Arrested Development” is coming back for Season 5 at NetflixVariety has learned.

The streaming service has greenlit a much-anticipated fifth season of the family comedy, which is set to launch in 2018. Original creator Mitchell 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.

The fifth season news comes after much teasing from Netflix, Hurwitz and various cast members over the past few years, saying that a new season would be coming, but talent scheduling was delaying the renewal. After airing for three seasons on Fox from 2004-2006, the sitcom went to Netflix for a fourth season in 2013. The show never had significant broadcast ratings, but garnered widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for 25 Emmy Awards, winning six.

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“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 comical statement on Wednesday. “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,” mused Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, leafing through photos of the banana stand, never nudes and Chicken Dances. “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.”

Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman commented, “‘Arrested Development’ remains one of the iconic franchises we, Ron and Brian are asked about most. It’s a testament to the brilliance of Mitch’s creation, the passion of his audience, and the love his cast holds in their hearts for his writing and characters that we have been able to ‘get the band back together ‘ not once but twice since the Emmy-winning original run. Get ready, America. The Bluths are coming back.”

Hurwitz will serve as executive producer with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Jim Vallely and Richie Rosenstock. Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox Television are producing for Netflix.

“I love working with Mitch. He is a genius and the rarest of original thinkers. He brings a richness to the characters and the storylines that makes the series memorably fun,” Grazer said.

Howard added, “Whew! I can finally answer the question … Hell yes! Warming up my uncredited narrator vocal chords. Now the only thing I will have to be coy about is all the craziness the Bluths are going to face this season.”

“Arrested Development” centers around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) and his eccentric family comprised of his son George-Michael (Michael Cera), his father George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), his mother Lucille (Jessica Walter), his brothers George Oscar Bluth II (Will Arnett), Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) and sister Lindsay Funke (Portia de Rossi), and Lindsay’s husband Tobias (David Cross) and their daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat).

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  1. Bruce says:

    Season 4 was the worst disappointment of all time. I binge watched Seasons 1-3 with my wife who had never seen the show — and I continued to laugh out loud.
    Then, we got to season 4 and I could not even make it through half the season. So painful!
    I’d give Season 5 a shot, since this show was so good I. It’s original incarnation.
    I can understand the positive reviews from all of the AD apologists. You should hold the producers and writers to higher standards.

  2. Bob B. says:

    It’s hard for creators to come up with new formats in Hollywood; mainly because the studios don’t want to take a chance on an unproven format. The team that put this show together did a remarkable job of coming up with a new comedy format that was also critically appreciated. I have seen critiques of Season 4 but it was the team once again trying to inject a new format to deliver humor. Again, one had to pay a lot of attention to see the over-lay of the various episodes. If you are trying to do needlepoint or read the sports page while watching . . . well, maybe you should switch over to Two Broke Girls.

    So AD is not one of those sit-coms that you can watch passively. You have to pay attention AND sometimes watching a second or third times reveals more (e.g. laughter).

    AD is not as complex as opera but has some similarities. People often don’t like opera because they are not willing to pay attention, read up on the performance prior to experiencing it (or after), or watch a few times to get the missed plots. Obviously AD does NOT require that amount of work but hopefully the analogy can be grasped.

  3. Meh says:

    The show started off ok but got progressively worse, imo. I’m not exactly opposed to a fifth season but at the same time I probably won’t ever get around to watching it. As a whole, it had some great moments but they were so few and far between that I couldn’t stay interested.

  4. Thedude3445 says:

    Variety always gets these super-negative anonymous comments, likely from Netflix’s competition, but this is some of the best news of the year so far. Arrested Development Season 4 was a lot stranger than the previous seasons, but an artistic triumph just the same. If this show is only half as good as it, it’ll still be worth watching. I can’t wait.

  5. Kate Harvie says:

    Here’s hoping Season Five will be better than the truly awful Season Four. A lot has happened at Netflix since (incl. House of Lies and Orange is the New Black) the channel made its attempt to produce programming, and Brian Grazier has done Empire. I shall be optimistic.

    • Clark Roberts says:

      I truly hope so too. Season 4 was indeed terrible. They need to have all of the characters in each episode and not one character per episode like they did in season 4. I believe that method was chosen because of the conflicting schedules of the actors, and it was the only way to pull the season together. I’d rather not have a season versus having a crappy one.

  6. Dave says:

    I’ve watched season 4 a few times now and it gets better every time. I think that the format is different than the first 3 seasons so that makes those comparing it feel as though it’s not as good. But it truly is. Watch it again and you might agree.

    • Jeremiah Sellers says:

      You’re definitely right. I get so annoyed when people say that season was awful when it was really just as good as the previous seasons. The difference is the format, and how references are spread widely across episodes. If you watch it multiple times, it’s so clever how they pieced it all together.

  7. Brad says:

    Yasss! So glad to hear that they’re bringing back the entire cast as opposed to the format of season 4. Fingers crossed the writing is as strong as the first couple of seasons!

  8. Derek says:

    As long as they shoot it altogether instead of that disjointed way they did season four, I’ll be watching.

  9. Roger says:

    The worst season of Arrested Development is still better than most sitcoms currently airing. Even if this new season is only as good as Season 4, that’s still a solid season. I’m hoping it’ll recapture the magic of the original run, but in the absolute worst-case-scenario, at least we know it will be an entertaining season that will tie up the loose ends. People need to stop focusing on the negative.

  10. Billybobby says:

    Not again.

    This show is like the Clintons, it just won’t go away.

  11. Gary says:

    the last season was beyond terrible. don’t do it!

  12. KLine says:

    One of the very few funny shows around.

  13. bmg615 says:

    I simply ask that you not break my heart again.

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