Speculation has been rampant regarding whether or not we could expect a follow-up season to “Arrested Development’s” return. The cult favorite made a much buzzed-about comeback in 2013 thanks to Netflix, ending with a cliffhanger many want answered (even if viewers remain wary after Season 4 didn’t exactly live up to previous entries). Last summer, producer Brian Grazer said they were going to make “another 17 episodes,” and Will Arnett also confirmed Season 5 was in the works even before that.
But since last year, we haven’t heard a peep — until now.
First things first, Hurwitz has not written out the episodes, but the season has been outlined. Negotiations are still ongoing with the cast, and once scheduling is sorted out and the creator knows exactly who is able to come back for Season 5 (and for how long), he’ll sit down and write out the episodes. Considering how the cast’s availability — or lack thereof — affected Season 4, this piece of the puzzle is an extremely important one. Without a full cast sharing scenes together regularly, “Arrested Development” clearly suffers.
But Hurwitz is eager to get production going. Two key scenarios set up at the end of Season 4, combined with a few real-world news items, have given Hurwitz some ideas he wants to get cracking on immediately so they’re still timely when viewers get to watch. The first is the death of Lucille Austero (Liza Minnelli), who Buster (Tony Hale) was arrested for murdering at the end of Season 4. Given the popularity of real-crime documentaries like “Making a Murderer,” “The Jinx” and “Serial,” Hurwitz hopes to frame Season 5 as a “serialized murder mystery.” He apparently came up with the idea before the genre exploded, but now he’s keen to put out a comedic take of his own.
The second factor is a bit more troubling, considering how horrifically life has already begun to imitate Hurwitz’s art. At the end of “Arrested Development” Season 4, Lindsay Bluth (Portia de Rossi) decided to run for office as a Republican after garnering a wave of public support for her idea to build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants; an idea repeated by real Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The connection is just one more reason Hurwitz hopes to get the new season out before the elections in November.
One idea that won’t be happening: George Sr., played by Jeffrey Tambor, will not be transitioning a la Tambor’s other character, Maura Pfefferman, on “Transparent.” Hurwitz claims to have wanted George to become a woman for some time, but now thinks doing so would be too similar to what’s been done on Jill Soloway’s acclaimed dramedy.
Netflix has a jam-packed slate already set up for 2016, including another series from Hurwitz and “Arrested Development” star Will Arnett. The half-hour comedy “Flaked” is expected to premiere in mid-2016, with Arnett starring and Hurwitz on board as an executive producer. But the streaming network would undoubtedly make room for another series from the pair, as well.