Following a six-year hiatus, Arrested Development will start production on a new season beginning today. The cult sitcom premiered on FOX in 2003 and ran for three seasons until the network canceled it in 2006. Despite being critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, the show did not draw a sizeable audience during its original run and viewership dropped each season.
In 2007, Arrested Development was listed as one of Time Magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All Time" and has been recognized as arguably the most influential sitcom of the 2000s due to its multi-camera set-up and lack of a laugh track or studio audience. While rumors of a feature film swirled in the years after the show's demise, it wasn't until earlier this year that Netflix announced that it would finance a new 10-episode season to be featured exclusively on their service.
The entire cast of the original season will be returning to their roles, including Jason Bateman as main protagonist Michael Bluth, Michael Cera as his son George Michael, Jeffrey Tambor as family patriarch George Bluth Sr., Jessica Walter as overbearing mother Lucille, Will Arnett as older brother GOB, Tony Hale as eccentric brother Buster, Portia De Rossi as adopted sister Lindsay, David Cross as her husband Tobias Fünke, and Alia Shawkat as their daughter Maeby. Ron Howard will also reprise his role as the narrator of the series, and will once again serve as an executive producer alongside the show's creator Mitch Hurwitz and others representing Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox.
The concept of the new season is that each episode will focus on a specific character as they try to build up to a planned Arrested Development movie, although Hurwitz has not ruled out the possibility of a fifth season if the new one proves to be successful. No date has been announced for the season premiere, but the show will remain in production throughout the fall and is expected to debut on Netflix in early 2013.