When Arrested Development returns for its eagerly anticipated 4th season this May, everyone will be laughing and riding and cornholing (except for Buster). But the 14-episode run, which will be released all at once on Netflix, might be the last the fans get of the Bluth family.
During a conference call with investors on Monday Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, "Arrested is a unique property, we don’t anticipate being able to do season five, six and seven. It’s really a fantastic one-off which is coming together incredibly, and I think it will be amazing for us, but think of it as a non-repeatable amazing...Arrested Development is a wildly successful tactic, as opposed to fundamental to the strategy.”
I know what you're thinking: That Arrested Development isn't a "tactic" and that there's always money in the banana stand and that there should be more seasons (and a movie, for that matter). Well, you're definitely right about those first two things, and the new era or Arrested might not be, as Hastings suggested, just a one-off.
In response to that announcement, a spokesperson for Netflix told HitFix.com, "We're hopeful there will be more seasons. If anyone can pull it together, it's going to be [Netflix chief content officer] Ted [Sarandos]. But by no means is this the end of it. We're definitely planning to do more with them. We have first rights, so it's not like you'd see it anywhere else. We're absolutely hopeful there will be more."
Look, Arrested fans are a patient bunch, we've been hoping and waiting for more of the deranged comedy since it unjustly went off the air back in 2006. Rumors of it returning to television (or, in this case, the web) or a movie have been swirling for years. Now that we know for sure we'll get more of the Bluths (Season 4 will have episodes that individually focus on each character) the last thing we want to do is spend more time wondering if we'll get, well, even more.
Arrested could fall dangerously into Community territory, where fans spend more time worrying about the fate of the show's future rather than appreciate it for the piece of art that it is while its happening. Better yet, I don't want the show to feel pressure to keep performing. For all we know, this upcoming Season 4 could be a brilliant way to wrap it all up and not lose the essence of what the show is and was.
And, hey, I want as much Arrested as much as the next fan, but before I get too worked up about a Season 5 or Season 6 or even that yet-to-be-greenlit movie, I'm just looking forward to that one glorious weekend in May when I get to barricade myself in my apartment, watch all NEW episodes (!!!), and drink so much juice. It's going to be off the hook.
[Photo credit: Sam Urdank/FOX]