The Return of Arrested Development Continues to Really Be a Real Thing

Shout-out to everyone attending the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas this week. I realize the fact that the city is not just a den of sin, but also a bustling business hub, is nothing new, but I still like to imagine that when you told your friends you were going to Vegas for work they were all like, “Hell yeah, you are gonna get some boobs up in your face and do mad yayo and rage it up!” and then you were like, “Ha ha, for sure, son, also definitely gonna check out some really informative panels about current developments and trends in the television industry, whuttt!” and then you guys all high-fived awkwardly. Kudos to you for remaining a professional while still enjoying a good time, theoretical NAB attendee.

ANYWAY: Tuesday at the NAB, the Netflix panel went down, and the news was dominated by the impending return of Arrested Development. Below are some pertinent details about what the new iteration will look like, but the major takeaway: Somehow, this long-desired AD revival continues to not be an elaborate and cruel hoax being perpetrated on a nation of eager comedy nerds.

In the building were creator Mitch Hurwitz, once and future cast members Will Arnett, David Cross, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jessica Walter, and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who told the unlikely origin story, according to THR: “The seeds for a Netflix reunion came from a simple party conversation with Ron Howard that led to a meeting with Brian Grazer, which led to a meeting with Mitch Hurwitz, which led to a meeting with Gary Newman at Fox. It was clear that everybody wanted to come back; we just need to figure out how to make it work with everyone’s incredibly busy schedules. We decided not to follow the conventional definition of a season; we would produce exactly how many episodes were needed to tell the story.”

Hurwitz elaborated on the content itself, saying that originally “Because everybody is on separate shows, we had this idea to do kind of an anthology series and meet the characters, where they have been, one at a time. That is evolving into the old show again, even though the concept is slightly different.” Specifically, but still vaguely, Hurwitz explained that the current distribution model — at some point in the first half of next year, all of the new episodes will be available for streaming at the same time — will be incorporated: “We are embracing the fact that these episodes are being ‘aired,’ so to speak, at the same time. And it is changing our storytelling; we had a lot of secrets that we were planting in storytelling. Hopefully by the end of the episodes you will want to go back to the start and view it through new eyes.” And while there was no word on the accompanying movie, Vulture reports that Hurwitz did say he’d be down for a future beyond a fourth season: “We would love this to be the first of many visits.”

Related: The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations is available to watch instantly on Netflix right now.

Filed Under: Arrested Development, Netflix, Television

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Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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