Thursday, January 10, 2013

Netflix confirms 14 variable-length 'Arrested Development' episodes to stream in May

Netflix has given us a date, or at least a month, for the return of the critically acclaimed series "Arrested Development." 14 all-new episodes will air on the video-streaming site this coming May, it was announced on Wednesday.

It means fans will another four months or so, but they're getting a bonus in return. The series had been scheduled to return in the first half of this year, but with only ten episodes. Netflix recently decided it wanted to expand the order, to 14.

Although the show was beloved by critics and had a seriously devoted following, it was never able to gain sufficient viewership and high enough ratings to have a long stay on network TV. It was cancelled by Fox in 2006 after three seasons, despite winning several Emmy awards and one Golden Globe.

These 14 episodes are expected to be a run-up to a feature film. The show's creator, Mitchell Hurwitz said the new episodes are a "first act to what we eventually want to do, which is a big movie."

Jason Bateman, who stars in the series as Michael Bluth, said that the 14 episodes shouldn't be considered season four. Instead, the episodes, which vary in length and will be released simultaneously, could be treated like an album, or a choose-your-own-adventure novel, said Hurwitz. The episodes will, however, have an order to them, if viewers want to watch them as though they were an typical season.

In addition to a varying length, the episodes will have a varying cast. The only character to appear in all of them will be Bateman's.

Hurwitz explained why "Arrested Development" wasn't popular with as many viewers as he and the network would have liked. He said,
One of the reasons Arrested 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. But that's what they want to do [Netflix]. They want to take risks. They encouraged the complexity that had been discouraged before.
To anyone who watched the series, but stuck with it, Hurwitz description makes sense. Those unfamiliar with the show's hilarity should view the "200 best quotes from Arrested Development" video, embedded.

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