It’s official: this Arrested Development revival is no illusion. (It’s not a trick either — but, by Gob, we all already knew that one!) Netflix has ordered even more episodes of the long-awaited, and much-anticipated, fourth season of the cult sitcom.
Deadline reports that Netflix, the TV and film steaming site that picked up the show after a five-year hiatus, has upped Arrested Development’s order from 10 episodes to a number between 12 and 15.
“We are thrilled with the direction of the show, with the footage we have seen and with the relationship between Mitch [Hurwitz], Imagine, 20th and Netflix,” a Netflix spokeswoman told Deadline Tuesday.
“At this time, we are not confirming or announcing the final episode count but we are sure fans will be thrilled when we do.”
The episode count will likely depend on the number of instalments creator Hurwitz wants/is able to put together. Apparently, he planned to shoot more material than 10 episodes would require originally, allowing for easy expansions of arcs centred around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) and his incredibly eccentric extended family.
Some of this additional footage has already been shot, with Bateman and the rest of the cast sticking around for a few additional weeks of production following the planned U.S. Thanksgiving wrap date. Hurwitz ceased production recently though, and plans to review all his footage before starting up again in January.
Naturally, the content of this footage will be based on the availability of the actors. Some of the main cast is already committed to other projects, which could make it difficult for them to take out more time for Arrested Development. Will Arnett (a.k.a. Gob Bluth), for example, should be prepping for NBC’s new, multi-cam iteration of Up All Night.
Other returning Arrested Development cast members include Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera, David Cross, Alia Shawkat and Tony Hale.
No matter how many Arrested Development episodes actually end up being produced, Netflix appears to be aiming for a spring premiere. And when it does debut, Netflix subscribers will have access to all Season 4 episodes simultaneously.
This announcement comes fresh off the news that Netflix Canada has obtained the rights to Season 4 of Arrested Development and will release the new instalments time-and-date with the U.S. site.
Netflix picked up Arrested Development late last year, planning to run a shortened season as a lead-in to the Hurwitz’s upcoming feature film. Arrested Development originally aired on network television — Fox, to be precise — but was cancelled after just three seasons in 2006.
Are you excited for Arrested Development’s return? Will you subscribe to Netflix just to watch it? Which characters do you want to see featured the most in Season 4? Comment below!