Arrested Development: Jason Bateman signs on for season 5
- TV Show
It appears that more fun, sexy times are in store for Arrested Development fans, sooner than later.
Jason Bateman, who plays voice-of-reason Michael Bluth, indicated on Friday that the family that put the fun — and, oh, yes, dysfunction — in dysfunctional family comedy will be re-revived on Netflix.
“Look very probable I’m going to put some miles on the Stair Car this summer,” he tweeted. “Just officially signed on to more ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT today.”
After years of chatter and “I hope we’ll be doing more soon”s from those involved, a fifth season of Mitchell Hurwitz’s Emmy-winning series is in the works, with the writers already convening to brainstorm new adventures for the Bluths, EW has confirmed. Netflix and 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show, have not made any announcement, and could not be reached for comment. The hope, as Bateman indicated, is to start shooting new episodes as early as this summer, though not all of the actors have officially signed contracts yet. No date has been set for when new episodes might stream on Netflix.
The original series — which starred Bateman, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Will Arnett, Jessica Walter, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, and Alia Shawkat — aired on Fox from 2003 to 2006, earning raves from critics (and an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series) but always struggling to attract a wide audience. Low ratings doomed it to cancellation after a shortened third season. It only grew in cult status in the following years, and after years of chatter and, yes, “I hope we’ll be doing more soon”s, Netflix revived the show in 2013 with a 15-episode fourth season. With all of the actors working on other projects, it was a formidable challenge to coordinate schedules; Hurwitz and his writers were forced to approach the fourth season in a unique way by creating episodes that focused on individual characters — with Bateman’s voice-of-semi-reason Michael Bluth appearing in various family members’ stories to help give a feel of cohesion — instead of containing group scenes.
Back in 2013, Hurwitz said that the fourth season would serve as prologue to an Arrested Development movie, but more recently, any talk of additional Arrested came in the context of a fifth season. Season 4 ended with a murder mystery and the arrest of Buster (Hale) following the death of Lucille Two (Liza Minnelli). Hurwitz noted that this story line was put into play before the true crime genre exploded (Serial, The Jinx, Making A Murderer, etc.). “There was a lot of Making a Murderer in there,” he said last year. “We quietly set up these guilty parties all over the place, and hopefully that won’t be old hat by now.”