The season will be a slightly different format, consisting of 15 episodes with each episode predominantly focusing on one member of the Bluth family and what they have been doing since 2006. The first episode will revolve around Michael who will be the only character to appear in all 15 episodes.
Jason Bateman prefers to call the group of episodes Act 1 of a three act story. At the end of the fourteen episodes, each character would be in a predicament that would be solved in the as of yet greenlit Arrested Development Movie.
Jason Bateman confirmed on Twitter:
Jason Bateman: It's true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early '13. Very excited!
On November 18, 2011 it was confirmed that Netflix would exclusively license an unspecified number of new episodes for an early 2013 debut on its streaming video service. The episode count was estimated to be 9 or 10.
On January 30, 2012 it was confirmed that the original writers, including Mitch Hurwitz, Jim Vallely and Dean Lorey, and the entire original cast had agreed to the new season. Lorey even confirmed that pre-production had begun for a 2013 release.
On April 17, 2012 it was announced by Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, and Mitch Hurwitz that the entire Season Four would be released on Netflix in a single day. It was also announced that the episodes would contain some form of mystery.
Mitch Hurwitz: This way, instead of watching it week after week, hopefully people will go back and look for clues.
During late July Jason Bateman and Ron Howard began tweeting behind-the-scenes peeks of preproduction on their @batemanjason and @RealRonHoward Twitter accounts, including pictures of Michael Cera on sets being constructed. On August 7 it was announced that production had begun on the first episode of the fourth season.
On August 24 Netflix announced that the season would be released in Spring 2013. In an interview, David Cross stated that he believed there could be up to 13 episodes in the season, and that the story is very complex and "amazing".
On September 4 an Hurwitz stated in an interview that the season may or may not be all released at once, and that they haven't nailed down the final episode count yet. He revealed that they would most likely continue to be "tastefully tasteless" in regards to the [bleep]ing and censorship.
On December 12 Netflix announced that they had boosted the episode count to 12-15, depending on Mitch Hurwitz's ability to expand the already filmed scenes into fully fledged story lines. Additional shooting occurred in January 2013.
On January 9, 2013 at the TCA's winter press tour Hurwitz revealed more information about the nature and production of the fourth season. To delight fans, the cast and crew have kept as much secret about the season as possible. Even the original announcement of 10 episodes was a white lie — fourteen were planned from the start. Michael Cera was brought into the writer's room and quickly became an integral member of the writing team.
The season was filmed out of order, depending on the availability of the cast members. Due to other film and television contracts certain actors could only appear in a limited amount of episodes. Additionally, cast member availability was staggered which dictated the writing process. Mitch Hurwitz and newcomer Troy Miller co-directed all episodes together.
Mitch Hurwitz has confirmed that 20th Century Fox owns the property and may release DVDs in the future. He also confirmed that the bleeping would return and that each episode would be around 30 minutes long. Some jokes and locations would return, but the writing staff was intent on making the show fresh rather than a series of "greatest hits".
On October 4, 2012 it was announced online via Facebook, Twitter, and press release that Netflix was going to five six Arrested Development fans the opportunity to win a walk-on role in the fourth season. All that was required was a submission of an "original piece of Arrested Development content", ranging from videos, artwork, and photos. All entries required the use of the #BluthWalkOn hashtag. Entries were promoted on youregonnagetsomewalkons.com. The winners were announced in November 2012.
Principal photography wrapped in December 2012 and several reshoots were filmed in early 2013. The season is currently in post-production, awaiting a May release.
On April 4, 2013 it was announced via press release that the season would be 15 episodes long and premiere on May 26, 2013 at 12:01am PDT (53 days from the announcement date). Says Hurwitz:
Mitch Hurwitz: 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.
Season Five? Movie?
Jason Bateman and Mitch Hurwitz have repeatedly said that Season Four is the first act in a three-act story, planned to be concluded in a feature film. Hurwitz has mentioned that he would be up for a fifth and sixth season in lieu of or in addition to the film. However, at an investors call in February 2013 Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shot down speculation that Hurwitz and Netflix were planning on pursuing a fifth season, but left it open that if things went successfully more cooperation could happen in the future.
In March 2013, Hurwitz confirmed that there was no deal yet for the Arrested Development Movie but he was confident that he could pitch it to 20th Century Fox after the Season Four stress subsided.
- → See and enjoy more pictures Season Four at Season Four marketing.
Starting with the announcement of the May 26, 2013 premiere date on April 4 Netflix began their Season Four marketing campaigns. They utilized both traditional marketing techniques (billboards and posters) as well as broadcasting via an official Facebook page and @ArrestedDev Twitter account. The social media accounts encouraged fans to participate in "Bananathon", a marathon re-watch of the first three seasons over three weeks.
The social media accounts and Entertainment Weekly revealed posters and images over the month of April, and the first public footage of the new season was released on April 26, 2013. The first trailer was released on May 12, 2013 revealing some minor spoilers about the new batch of episodes.
Teaser posters were released on April 10, 2013, and the character posters were revealed on April 24. Character portraits were released on May 1.
Confirmed guest cast
- See also: Category:Season Four Characters
- John Slattery (of Mad Men)
- Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, and Erik Griffin (of Workaholics)
- Ben Schwartz (of Parks and Recreation)
- John Krasinski (of The Office)
- Chris Diamantopoulos (of Up All Night)
- Isla Fisher
- Conan O'Brien
- Seth Rogen
- Mary Lynn Rajskub as Heartfire
- Natasha Leggero as Anchorwoman #1
- Busy Philipps as Anchorwoman #2
- Brian Grazer as Himself
- Maria Bamford as Debris
- Terry Crews as Herbert Love
- Kristen Wiig as a young Lucille Bluth
- Ron Howard as Himself
- Judy Greer as Kitty Sanchez
- Henry Winkler as Barry Zuckerkorn
- Scott Baio as Bob Loblaw
- Liza Minnelli as Lucille Austero
- Carl Weathers as Himself
- Mae Whitman as Ann Veal
- Jeff Garlin as Mort Meyers
- Andy Richter as Himself
- James Lipton as Stefan Gentiles
- Ben Stiller as Tony Wonder
- Martin Mull as Gene Parmesan
- Justin Lee as Annyong Bluth
- Clint Howard as Johnny Bark
- Alan Tudyk as Terry Veal
- Ed Helms as James Carr
- Jeffrey Tambor as Oscar Bluth
- Unconfirmed, but spotted at Arrested Development Netflix Premiere
Although an episode list showing character-based titles was leaked in January 2013, no official episode titles have been released yet, escept for "Flight of the Phoenix" from the 2013 Netflix Orange Carpet Season Four Premiere. All fifteen episodes will be released simultaneously on Netflix on May 26 2013.
Unlike the previous three seasons, and in part to the technological opportunities Netflix brings to the table, Mitch Hurwitz and producers wrote, filmed, and edited all 15 episodes in a way that they could be watched in any order. Says David Cross of the new style:
David Cross: [It's] like if you could mash up a Venn diagram with a nautilus shell. And then put that inside a Möbius strip.
- → See and enjoy more pictures Season Four at Season Four marketing.
Season 4 Trailer
- 11/18/11 - The Bluths Are Back and Only on Netflix
- 1/30/12 - Arrested Development Revival: Entire Cast Confirmed For Netflix Series With Original Writers
- 4/18/12 - Arrested Development: Netflix to premiere all 10 new episodes at once
- 4/19/12 - Daily Arrested Development Development: Mitch Hurwitz Talks Netflix, We Listen
- 4/19/12 - Arrested Development: Hurwitz Up for Seasons Five and Six
- 4/19/12 - Arrested Development: Five Things We Know About Season Four
- 8/7/12 - Arrested Development officially starts filming today
- 8/15/12 - Exclusive: Mad Men's John Slattery Joins Season 4 Cast in Top-Secret Role
- 8/17/12 - Arrested Development Season 4: Ron Howard Set To Appear In Front Of Camera
- 8/24/12 - Arrested Development arrives in spring, and David Cross says new season is 'amazing'
- 8/31/12 - Arrested Development: Scott Baio Joins Season 4
- 9/4/12 - Mitch Hurwitz Talks to Vulture About Reviving Arrested Development
- 9/14/12 - Arrested Development Season 4 adds Isla Fisher and Terry Crews
- 9/17/12 - Arrested Development Season 4 re-hired Jeff Farlin, is the movie already in the work?
- 9/21/12 - Arrested Development star Mae Whitman discusses the new season
- 10/4/12 - Arrested Developments Contest To Win A Walk-On Role For Season 4 Has Begun
- 10/5/12 - Arrested Development Season 4 adds Up All Night Star
- 10/12/12 - Arrested Development Season 4 picks up Parks and House of Lies Ben Schwartz
- 10/19/12 - Carl Weathers Is Returning to Arrested Development
- 10/25/12 - Arrested Development Surprise! Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter Will Be Appearing
- 10/25/12 - Maria Bamford Has "A Tiny Part" in Arrested Development Season 4
- 10/29/12 - Here's The First Official Photo From The New Arrested Development!
- 12/12/12 - More Episodes of Arrested Development Ordered
- 1/9/13 - On Netflix, Arrested Development blazes new trails
- 1/9/13 - Arrested Development cast and creator talk new episodes, unspool deleted scene at TCA panel
- 1/10/13 - Mitch Hurwitz Talks Arrested Development Season 4, Bringing Michael Cera Into the Writers’ Room, and Status of the Movie
- 2/11/13 - Arrested Development: James Lipton Joins Season 4 Cast
- 2/19/13 - Arrested Development Season 4: Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen to appear!
- 2/25/13 - Arrested Development: Netflix CEO not 'anticipating' ordering additional seasons
- 2/26/13 - Ben Stiller to guest on Arrested Development
- 3/9/13 - Arrested Development: Gene Parmesan Returning To Delight Lucille Bluth On Netflix
- 3/10/13 - Arrested Development At SXSW: Mitch Hurwitz, Jeffrey Tambor & Will Arnett Introduce First Clips
- 3/27/13 - Arrested Development movie finally getting made (as a plotline on the TV show)
- 4/4/13 - Netflix To Launch New Season Of Arrested Development On May 26
- 4/29/13 - Office star John Krasinski to appear on Arrested Development
- 5/1/13 - Arrested Development Season 4: Busy Philipps and Natasha Leggero to guest star
- 5/2/13 - Arrested Development's Mary Lynn Rajskub on playing George Sr.'s new assistant
- 5/6/13 - Catching Up With Arrested Development’s Annyong Bluth
- 5/10/13 - Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Alia Shawkat and Jessica Walter Talk Arrested Development and Possibility of a Movie
- 5/13/13 - Portia De Rossi on Arrested Development - ABC News
- 5/13/13 - Portia de Rossi talks Arrested Development - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon