Netflix was on hand for the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, where Mitch Hurwitz, creator of the revived Arrested Development, was part of a panel alongside the cast of the returning series. Among the few tidbits to come out of the panel was news that the series would air 14 episodes, with Hurwitz implying that the original news item that the show would air only 10 episodes was a tactic of under-reporting, meant to stoke the fanbase’s excitement once the actual number of episodes was revealed. However, star Jason Bateman insists that you not call the new batch of episodes “season four”, since the new episodes won’t be continuing the specific story threads of the original series. Yet that doesn’t mean the show will be without a strong narrative. Co-star Portia De Rossi has compared the new episodes to “Rashomon, but with the Bluths,” citing Akira Kurosawa’s legendary film in which one incident is retold from multiple, conflicting points of view.
This complex approach to storytelling seems to be among the benefits of airing the show in a format that excludes commercials. “Mitch’s writing is so pleasantly dense,” said Bateman. “I don’t think it’s conducive to something that has commercials in it.” All 14 episodes of the series will be released at the same time, as if to encourage the sort of binge-watching habits that have helped Arrested Development expand its fanbase, since many new viewers essentially burned through the series without having to interrupt the story with those pesky ad breaks, or having to wait seven days to see a new episode. The show’s heyday was long before DVRs entered broad, mainstream use.
Hurwitz said the new episodes will vary in length, running as long as the average episode of a premium-cable comedy series, with runtimes increasing or decreasing depending on the episode.
All 14 new episodes of Arrested Development will premiere simultaneously this May.
Via: The AV Club