Seven years after it went off the air on Fox, Arrested Development made its triumphant return on Netflix with Season 4, which premiered May 2013. Two and a half years later, fans are still waiting for Season 5, but it seems that may be happening soon. While promoting his new drama In the Heart of the Sea, director Ron Howard, who also serves as narrator and executive producer of Arrested Development, revealed on ABC's Good Morning America today that series creator Mitch Hurwitz is currently working with the writers.
"Well, Mitch Hurwitz the creator of the show is working with writers now. Netflix is behind it, 20th Century Fox is behind it. It's hopeful. What has happened is that the cast has become so freakin' in demand and busy. Everyone wants to do it. Fans want it. I would be saddened if we didn't achieve it. I'm the announcer and the narrator, and I have to get back to that microphone."
Back in July, Netflix's Ted Sarandos revealed that the streaming service is working out deals with the Arrested Development cast, which has become complicated because many of them have other shows they're working on. In April, Ron Howard's producing partner Brian Grazer gave a much more definitive update, revealing that they plan on producing 17 new episodes for Season 5, with production scheduled to begin in early 2016. It isn't known how far along Mitch Hurwitz and his writers are in the writing process, so we'll have to wait and see if filming will start early next year.
Brian Grazer also revealed in June that if production does start early next year, the season would debut four months after filming gets under way, which means fans could, in theory, get new episodes in either April or May, depending on when shooting starts. In July, actress Jessica Walter revealed that the season will open with Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) being arrested for the murder of his on-and-off lover Lucille Austero (Liza Minnelli). This means the new season will likely pick up almost immediately after Season 4, when Lucille was found dead in a pool of blood, before her body disappeared.
Many fans criticized Season 4 because each episode centered on a specific member of the Bluth family, and there wasn't enough of the entire Bluth family together. It remains to be seen if Mitch Hurwitz will stick with this format for Season 5 or not. While we wait for more details, take a look at Ron Howard's video interview on Good Morning America earlier today, where he discusses both In the Heart of the Sea and Arrested Development.