The final countdown has begun : in 4 months, we will have 14 new episodes of Arrested Development !
Arrested Development will return in May (date TBD) with 14 episodes on Netflix.— Alan Sepinwall (@sepinwall) Janvier 9, 2013
Netflix confirms May [but no specific date] for "Arrested Development." 14 episodes. #TCA13— Daniel Fienberg (@HitFixDaniel) Janvier 9, 2013
First of, here's the schedule :
— House of Cards (February 1), a darkly cynical political drama from David Fincher that stars Kevin Spacey as a scheming congressman who plots revenge when he's outmaneuvered for a political post. "The swath of his sword is never-ending", Spacey says. Fincher directed episodes 1.01 & 1.02, and a second 13-episode season is planned by early 2014 as part of the estimated $100 million commitment.
— Hemlock Grove (April 19), a murder mystery set in a Pennsylvania steel town in which "killer creatures" are among the suspects. Produced by Eli Roth, it's based on a novel.
— Arrested Development season 4 (May), reviving the Emmy-winning series, after reruns were among Netflix's biggest draws.
— Orange is the New Black (late spring), based on the comedic novel set in a women's prison, from producer Jenji Kohan (Weeds). Jodie Foster is among its directors.
— Derek (summer), the latest series from writer-star Ricky Gervais, about lovable losers who work in a nursing home.
— Lilyhammer season 2 (fall), a second season of last year's series starring Steve Van Zandt (The Sopranos) as an ex-mobster in the witness protection program who's transplanted to Norway.
AD season 4 could be arriving on May 4, but that date was denied by Netflix shortly after it was posted online (only to officially announce/confirm it in a few hours at the TCA ?).
Furthermore, Mitch Hurwitz has had a bit of a chat with USA Today, here's what he had to say :
The all-at-once model "flies in the face of everything that's been going on in television forever".
Arrested Development is applying a new model, less because of its new home than competing demands for its stars, several of whom appear in other projects. "Contractually, we couldn't use all the characters in every episode; they were not free to do as much television as they want".
Each of 13 or 14 episodes (up from 10 originally planned) will focus on a single character, and only Michael Bluth, the level-headed son who holds the clan together, will appear in all of them (plus, Michael Cera is also now among the show's writers).
"The show will look very different. It's being assembled as a very, very complex puzzle from scenes shot out of sequence over many months".
Though famous for its layered flashbacks and juggling of multiple story lines, held together by Ron Howard's narration, new episodes adopt a different rhythm. "We're not jumping from one thing to another : you're staying with one character", while other cast members appear in smaller roles, and recurring characters played by Henry Winkler and Liza Minnelli, among others, will return. Howard and Brian Grazer, whose Imagine TV is behind the project, will also appear.
"The bigger story is the family has fallen apart at the start of our show. They all went their own way, without Michael holding them together, so they're left to their own devices, and they're not the most successful devices. The season is designed as a first act to what we eventually want to do, which is a big movie" (though there's no guarantee it will ever get made).
"Each individual episode kind of depicts what happens in 2006 as the Bluths fled from the law on the Queen Mary, then explains what's happened to them since and leaves them in the present day.
The true flavor slowly reveals itself, as the moment you saw in one show will reappear in another show from a different character's perspective. If people watch it all at once, it will seem like a giant Arrested Development. It's really tailored for Netflix".
Only once did the entire cast reassemble, as the final episode teases a movie by promising an imminent family reunion.
"It was such a joy to be back with everybody, it didn't feel like work, it felt like being back with friends. You don't see them all together until you see the movie. But even apart, I can assure you that the characters are just as damaged, self-involved and self-righteous as ever".
Netflix is betting passionate TV fans looking for shows they can't find elsewhere are the most likely candidates to remain loyal streaming subscribers.
"One of the reasons AD wasn't embraced at the time was it wasn't easy to get your head around it. It was a point of pride with me : I wanted to create a show that had surprises. That's what they want to do at Netflix, they take risks. They encouraged the complexity that had been discouraged before".
Source (click to read the interesting stuff Mike Sarandos & Kevin Spacey have to say).
The Arrested Development cast and crew will be at the Television Critics Association in about an hour. I want to go to there. Sadly, it's not filmed, but surely we will have some juicy (juice!) details afterwards.