Fans who haven't heard from the Bluth family of Arrested Development fame since 2006 will not have to wait much longer. The producers of the critically acclaimed American sitcom, which was created by Mitchell Hurwitz, have announced that the show will return with a mini-season in the early part of 2013, consisting of nine or 10 episodes, to be followed by a full-length feature film.

The producers of the show -- which has earned six Emmy awards, one Golden Globe, widespread critical acclaim and a cult following since its debut in 2003 -- are in talks with Showtime and Netflix about airing a limited number of episodes to be produced by 20th Century Fox TV.

Hurwitz told attendees at the New Yorker Festival, held in New York on Sunday, that he had been working on the screenplay for a long time and found there was much more to the story. The festival was also attended by stars of the show - Jason Bateman, Portia De Rossi and Michael Cera, as well as David Cross, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale and Alia Shawkat.

In fact, where everyone's been for five years became a big part of the story. So, in working on the screenplay I found that even if I just gave five minutes per character to that backstory, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together, Ron Howard, one of the producers of the television serial, said. Hurwitz added that they were hoping to do the new episodes with almost one character per episode.

We're kinda picturing it like, um, well the latest joke we have is that, you know, it's Cambridge, Mass., and there's all these scientists in lab coats and they're waiting for somebody and Buster comes through the door wearing a lab quote and says 'let's begin,' and they say, 'you don't get to wear the lab coat, we're experimenting on you.' [garbled] And then we go through his life and we meet the people in his life and maybe he goes to see his therapist who he's getting a good rate on because it's Tobias and he's lost his license. We can do crossovers and things like that, Hurwitz told Entertainment Weekly.

He added that it was going to be an unusual style of show that would focus on building the peril in their (characters') lives until they all come together, really, in the first scene of the movie.

The first episode of 2006 -- the year the show was canceled by Fox -- had thinly veiled allusions to the possibility of HBO or Showtime picking up the show in the event of its cancellation. The episode took shots at frequently cited reasons for the show's failure in the ratings, such as complex storylines that can be hard to follow, obscure references that may go over viewers' heads, and main characters that were not sympathetic or relatable.