After years of fan speculation, hints by the cast and crew, and outright lies on the Internet, the impossible has happened. According to Ron Howard and Jason Bateman, the fourth season of cult sitcom Arrested Development is finally in production.
There were, to be sure, reports that the show was coming back as early as last year, but some fans still found the news hard to swallow. The show has been off the air since early 2006, and fans have been burned with false news of a movie in the past.
Now, however, there is actual photographic proof of the beloved show's revival. Jason Bateman and Ron Howard, who both star in the show, have each tweeted pictures of series creator Mitchell Hurwitz in the writer's room.
Arrested Development for Netflix. IT'S ALIVE. This is what the writer's room looks like, tweeted the show's narrator Ron Howard. Attached was a picture of Hurwitz in the writers room, surrounded by note cards that most likely contained story notes.
An hour later, Jason Bateman, who plays series lead Michael Bluth, tweeted a second picture, this time showing Bateman, Howard and Hurwitz all together.
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Taken at AD mission control, today! All systems are go. Filming for the new episodes starts in four weeks. Woo!
The fan-favorite premiered on Fox in 2003 and followed the lives of dysfunctional wealthy Orange County family, the Bluths. Before it was canceled in its third season, Arrested Development kickstarted the careers of Michael Cera and Will Arnet, while revitalizing Jason Bateman's then-struggling career.
Arrested Development season 4 is set to premier sometime in early 2013 on Netflix. The online streaming service plans to make all 10 new episodes available at once, rather than spreading them out over several weeks.
Originally, Hurwtiz intended season 4 as a lead-in for a feature film, with each episode focusing on a single character, allowing fans to catch up with the Bluths one-on-one. These plans seem to have been scrapped, and Hurwitz now plans to use the full cast in each episode. No news of the planned movie has emerged since it was initially announced in October 2011.