When word first broke that not only were we getting an Arrested Development movie but also a fourth season, creator Mitch Hurwitz envisioned doing an anthology-style series where each episode caught up with one of the main characters before we saw them reunited on the big screen. But speaking on a Netflix panel at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Hurwitz revealed that he and the other producers have decided to in some ways return to the old style, and in some ways to try an unprecedented form of television storytelling: They’re releasing all ten episodes on the same day.
“There’s something exciting about trying to break the form again,” he said of the decision to unfold the Bluths’ new adventures over a five-hour period instead of two-and-a-half months.
“There’s going to be some mystery sprinkled throughout this [but] instead of watching one a week and try to get ahead of it, the hope is [fans] will watch them all together and then go back and look for clues and connections. We’d also like to use the technology to provide additional material, where you might be able to access another part of the story.”
We know at least one joke to expect: Hurwitz said that they’ll bring back Scott Baio as the Bluths’ overpaid lawyer Bob Loblaw (with his law blog lobbing law bombs). There’s definitely the fear of fans getting spoiled if the episodes are all on Netflix and people are tweeting excitedly about the new one-liners and the well-laid puns. But Hurwitz referenced Joss Whedon‘s Cabin in the Woods as a recent project where the fans respected the work enough to keep their reactions spoiler-free for those who hadn’t caught it yet.
Most of all, the creators are excited to present Arrested Development online. ”The show’s audience has grown over the last six years because of [viewers streaming it],” Hurwitz said. “It’s been like putting jokes in a bottle and then having them come back years later to say, ‘Ha ha.’”