Back up the stair car, there’s no need to be blue: Netflix has finally announced a return date for Arrested Development.
Mitch Hurwitz’s oddball comedy, which aired on Fox between 2003 and 2006 and revolved around the Bluth clan of Orange County, was resurrected last year by the streaming video provider, which announced today that it will release the fourth season of Arrested Development to subscribers on Sunday, May 26.
(That’s right, you can mark your calendars now: May 26 will be the day that the Internet will break in half.)
All 15 episodes of Arrested Development will be available to stream on the same day, beginning at 12:01 a.m. PT. The launch follows the rollout pattern established by the platform’s first original series, House of Cards, which launched with all 13 episodes in February, and that of its upcoming Eli Roth horror thriller, Hemlock Grove. Previous reports had the series launching with 14 episodes, but Netflix today confirmed a total order of 15 installments, a significant increase from the 10-episode order it gave the show in December. Each episode will unfold from a different character’s perspective, with several plotlines overlapping, giving the series—already known for inside jokes, callbacks, and formalizing what became known as the TiVo effect—even more of an interlocking puzzle feel.
Netflix had previously hedged its bets when it came to announcing a release date for Season 4 of Arrested Development; the May 26 date will allow the show to remain eligible for Emmy Awards consideration, which means that Netflix will likely be launching massive Emmys campaigns for this and House of Cards come the summer.
In a major coup, Netflix and Hurwitz were able to reassemble the show’s sprawling cast, which includes Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, and Jessica Walter.
"Arrested Development is now widely viewed as one of the top TV comedies of all time, and Mitch Hurwitz is bringing it to Netflix in a brand new way, crafted for the on-demand generation that has come to discover the show in the years since it last appeared on TV," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, in a statement. “The highly anticipated return of this show is sure to make history all over again.”
Hurwitz’s own statement was, not surprisingly, laced with humor: "Ted said that? Wow. Well don't print this, obviously, but he's going to be immensely disappointed,” said Hurwitz. “In truth, 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.”
That winking isn't just a suggestion on the prescription bottle: May 26 just got a hell of a lot more interesting now that we know when the Bluths will be back. But don't get too cozy: Netflix has reportedly indicated that there won't be a fifth season of Arrested.