Good news for Arrested Development fans: the fourth season is in fact happening, and you’ll get to enjoy it just the way you like it—all at once.Creator Mitch Hurwitz and several members of the show’s dysfunctional Bluth family appeared at a Netflix event in Las Vegas on Tuesday, dropping some knowledge on the beloved show’s highly anticipated return.
“Speaking on the floor of the National Association of Broadcasters convention, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos confirmed that all ten episodes of Arrested‘s long-awaited fourth season will premiere together on a single day sometime next year.”
This news of how the show will be presented is different from what was originally reported and announced at a New Yorker Festival panel Hurwitz and the cast did last year. While initially it seemed that the new season would unfold over ten or so weeks in 2013, leading into the movie that everyone has been praying for, the partnership with Netflix has allowed for some creativity in scheduling the rollout.
Instead of releasing episodes weekly, all ten new shows will premiere on Netflix on the same day — a strategy that plays to the show’s strengths. As Arrested fans all know and appreciate, the show’s beauty lies in the slow build of its jokes–bits that resurface episodes or sometimes even a season later–and characters who become more and more endearing and ridiculous the more time you spend with them. As a weekly series, it was a critical smash but a ratings disappointment, failing to keep viewers beyond a small, fanatical core of fans.
But for those exact reasons, the show has become wildly popular on DVD and on Netflix: audiences tend to watch episodes in chunks and rewatch often, in order to get all the jokes, making the decision to release all ten episodes at once a wise one.
“There’s going to be some mystery sprinkled throughout this [but] instead of watching one a week and try to get ahead of it, the hope is [fans] will watch them all together and then go back and look for clues and connections,” Hurwitz said.
The fourth season was originally going to focus on a self-contained story about one character each episode, but Vulture reports that Hurwitz has changed up that plan as well, saying, “That is now kind of evolving into becoming more like the old show again.”
Hurwitz also mentioned being open to creating a season five or six just Netflix. Is it possible that Arrested is really coming back into our lives and staying for awhile?