April 04, 2013 4:00am PT by Lacey Rose
'Arrested Development' Gets May Launch Date on Netflix
Arrested Development is set to return May 26.
The series' hotly anticipated fourth season, which now will include 15 episodes, will become instantly available at 12:01 a.m. in territories where Netflix is available, including in the U.S., the U.K., Latin America and Canada. A May launch date qualifies the series for Emmy consideration, and Netflix is expected to push it in the comedy series category.
In what is an impressive move given the thriving careers of much of its cast, creator/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz was able to lure each of the actors back to the show, including Jason Bateman (Michael Bluth), Michael Cera (George Michael), Will Arnett (George Oscar), Jeffrey Tambor (George), David Cross (Tobias) and Jessica Walter (Lucille). In order for it to come together, Hurwitz opted to dedicate each episode to a different character's point of view; some of the stories intersect.
"Arrested Development is now widely viewed as one of the top TV comedies of all time, and Mitch Hurwitz is bringing it to Netflix in a brand new way, crafted for the on-demand generation that has come to discover the show in the years since it last appeared on TV," said Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos of the show, which made up for in critical praise what it lacked in ratings during its three-season run on Fox.
Added Hurwitz: "Ted said that? Wow. Well don't print this, obviously, but he's going to be immensely disappointed. In truth, we are doing something very ambitious that can only be done with Netflix as partners and on their platform. Finally, my simple wish for the show is coming true: that it be broadcast every second around the clock to every television, computer or mobile device in existence.”
If Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is to be believed, the streaming service has no plans to continue the Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV production beyond the current 15 episodes. At an investor conference earlier this year, Hastings acknowledged that the Emmy-winning show would be "a one-off" and "non-repeatable." Meanwhile, Hurwitz and his cast have continued to keep hope alive that a potential film follow-up will ultimately come to pass.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose