In just two and a half days, “Arrested Development” will return for its long-anticipated fourth season. The show has been off the air for seven years, and series creator Mitch Hurwitz would like less time to pass between the Season 4 premiere and whatever comes next.
“Jason Bateman used to always say, ‘We should do [‘Arrested Development’] like the Michael Apted films and do them every seven years.’ I like that idea because you only get somebody seven years in your life, which you realize as you get older,” Hurwitz says during a recent conference call with reporters. “Maybe it’s every three years, you know? Every two years? Something like that. … I think it would be a great thing to find some way to get [more], if this is successful. I hope it will be.”
The plan to make a follow-up to “Arrested Development” began in Season 3’s final episode when Ron Howard‘s character suggests of the Bluth family’s story, “Maybe a movie.” The trouble with actually following through on that idea came because the timing was never right.
“By the time we sat down to work on the movie, enough time had passed that somehow a different story emerged,” Hurwitz says. “That kind of gave birth to the television show. Our hope is that it still leads to a movie or some mechanism of doing more content about this family.”
Season 4 will act as a reunion for the Bluth family, but Hurwitz warns fans not to expect it to be like anything else they’ve seen. His team made a concerted effort to make “Arrested Development’s” fourth season feel fresh instead of just being an homage to what came before.
“It doesn’t feel like the kind of reunion shows that we’ve seen in the medium,” Hurwitz says. “That everyone kind of comes back a little infirm and tries to trot out the new jokes. We really are trying to do something different with this.”
Though parts of Season 4 will be told out of chronological order, Hurwitz, Tambor and Walter say fans must watch the 15 episodes through in the order they’re provided on a first viewing. After that they can go back and see what they missed, but Hurwitz doesn’t want people to get confused by watching the episodes out of order initially.
Hurwitz also is steering people away from powering through all 15 episodes in one sitting. Bateman apparently only plans on watching four a night, and Walter says she won’t be able to start watching them until the evening of May 26.
“It is comedy. I think if you watch them all back to back, you’ll gain something and you will lose something,” Hurwitz says. “The thing that we’ve done to try to help with that is … it’s fun to rewatch comedy. … I do think there will be some fatigue that sets in.”
Walter adds, “People should be prepared for withdrawal when it’s over.”
Some fun facts learned during the call are that Tambor never knew there was an actual ImOscar.com (now ImStillOscar.com), the Banana Stand was inspired by Hurwitz’ cookie business with his brother in Orange County called The Chip Yard and that Bateman never realized the “Workaholics” actors were stars, which is why he tweeted that picture from the first day on set. Hurwitz reveals that “in the past couple of days, I started getting nervous” about the premiere of Season 4, and says he’s unsure how he’ll gauge how well “Arrested Development” does when it returns.
Walter doesn’t seem have any concerns about the success of the show, though. “I feel confident I can say to people now, ‘You’re going to love it and it’s better than ever,'” she says.
“Arrested Development” Season 4 premieres on Netflix in its entirety on May 26 at 12:01 a.m. PT. If you need help catching up on “Arrested Development’s” first three seasons, check out Zap2it’s “Arrested Development” Rewatch.