Update: Wednesday afternoon's TCA panel revealed plenty of new info about Arrested Development's return on Netflix this May.
You won't call it season four, if Jason Bateman has anything to say about it:
Jason Bateman just said this isn't season four. In other words: "Don't call it that." #tca13— Erik Adams (@ErikMAdams) January 9, 2013
The new episodes are building to a movie:
Alan Sepinwall's live blog has details on the structure:
Hurwitz: "I would say it is a very different form that emerged really organically. It really followed the function... The family grew apart, and everybody else kind of grew up and got other shows, and the only way we could get everybody for what we will loosely call an anthology... was to dedicate each episode to a character's a point of view." They started finding out that stories would intersect.
Says you'll see the same scene twice from multiple perspectives. "It was an evolution of the format that was necessary." Bateman adds it's exclusive to the format Netflix provides, so you can watch a portion of the Michael episode, then click over to Lucille's episode. Mitch says originally, they wanted to find a way to jump from one story to another — "Almost a Choose Your Own Adventure sort of thing" — and that contributed to make "one giant 700 minute Arrested Development."
There IS an episode order that is set up to preserve the most surprises. But you CAN watch in any order. #tca13— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) January 9, 2013
Michael Cera worked in the writer's room:
"I had some wild ideas that didn't make it," Cera said. #ArrestedDevelopment— Vulture (@vulture) January 9, 2013
Each episode will be about a half an hour:
They vary in length. "We're just starting post-production," so some of the storytelling will be in flux. "In general, we're just going to try to make these under a half-hour. Try to take the cable TV comedy model."
The show structure will be all the more complex since there aren't commercials:
Jason Bateman says being on Netflix (without the distraction of commercials) allows Arrested Development to get more complex #TCA13— BuzzFeedEntmnt (@BuzzFeedEnt) January 9, 2013
Though attendees did not get to see an actual clip from the show (out of spoiler fear), they saw an outtake:
Watching adeleted #Arrested scene: Lucille is blowing cigarette smoke into Buster's mouth, and he's blowing it out onto the patio for her.— Vulture (@vulture) January 9, 2013
Original post: Confirming what we learned earlier on Wednesday, Netflix announced at its Television Critic's Association panel this afternoon that Arrested Development will come to Netflix in May, with all episodes being released at the same time in a move that will appeal to binge watchers.
We're updating this post as we hear more from the cast on the panel, but creator Mitch Hurwitz told USA Today that "the show will look very different." Each episode will only focus on one character, with Jason Bateman, who plays Michael Bluth the only actor to appear in all episodes.
Having all episodes available at the same time though convenient for couch potatoes has the potential to break Twitter, as Ryan McGee pointed out:
Just realized people will live tweet their #ArrestedDevelopment viewing experiences. Thus will start World War Twitter.— Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) January 9, 2013