*There has really got to be a better way to say that.
“In talks with Netflix we all felt that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business—and their desperate abuses of power—are really underrepresented on TV these days,” explains Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz of the wacky, Orange County-set series' return to the small screen in 2018.
That's right, the Newport Beach-bred mind behind the madness joined the streaming service in revealing not only a fifth season—to premiere on a date next year yet to be announced—but that original cast members Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat are coming back, too.
So is the ingenious show's narrator.
"Whew! I can finally answer the question. … Hell yes! Warming up my uncredited narrator vocal chords," says executive producer Ron Howard, in the same statement that includes Hurwitz's thoughts. "Now the only thing I will have to be coy about is all the craziness the Bluths are going to face this season.”
No details are out about the plot or whether, due to the actors' crazy schedules, the story will again follow characters individually, with brief brushes with the others. Some complained that made season four, which debuted on Netflix seven years after the series ended its original run on Fox, confusing. Whether you agree, Arrested Development was still one of the best, freshest things on television (or your smartphone). The Weekly previously dubbed it the best, most accurate show EVER about life in Orange County—and, yes, we did also count all those unreal reality shows set here.
The show centers around the Bluths, an eccentric Newport Beach family desperately trying to hold onto the wealth and power accumulated by the shoddy residential developer patriarch George Bluth Sr. (Tambor). Due to scandal, that job has fallen on his son Michael (Bateman), who tries to pass himself off as the sanest Bluth—without much success. That's due in large part to his interactions with his son George Michael (Cera), his mother Lucille (Jessica Walter), his brothers Buster (Hale) and George Oscar Bluth II, a.k.a. G.O.B.—pronounced "jobe" (Arnett), his sister Lindsay Bluth Funke (de Rossi) and her husband Tobias (Cross) and their daughter Maeby (Shawkat).
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Despite winning Emmys, Golden Globes and other awards, the show has barely more than a cult following. It's non-traditional (yet hilarious) dialogue, sight gags and plot twists explain why it was never a great fit for rote network television but has been perfect for Netflix.
“I am so grateful to them and to 20th [Century Fox] TV for making this dream of mine come true in bringing the Bluths, George Sr., Lucille and the kids; Michael, Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, George-Michael, and who am I forgetting, oh Tiffany. Did I say Tiffany?—back to the glorious stream of life,” says Hurwitz, who first entered the media consciousness as a kid who started a cookie shop on the Balboa Peninsula (ala Arrested Development's blessed frozen banana stand).
“I love working with Mitch," says Brian Grazer, another executive producer and Howard's longtime producing partner. "He is a genius and the rarest of original thinkers. He brings a richness to the characters and the storylines that makes the series memorably fun.”