EXCLUSIVE: Good news for Arrested Development fans. The new season of the cult Mitch Hurwitz comedy commissioned by Netflix will be larger than originally planned. I’ve learned that, during production on the 10 new episodes ordered by Netflix, Hurwitz shot more material than planned and also came up with ideas for additional scenes and storylines. Hurwitz, producing studio 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV approached Netflix, which agreed to expand the order to what I hear will be 12-15 episodes. As a result, production on the show, originally slated to wrap right after Thanksgiving, was extended for a few more weeks. But, given the complexity of adding material as you go on a show where none of the actors are in first position and filming has to be done around their existing schedules, I hear 20th TV at the end of last week decided to pause production so Hurwitz can review the footage already in the can and take his time figuring out the best way to incorporate the new arcs. Once he is done, the studio will begin working on securing the actors needed. Filming is tentatively slated to resume in late January. The producers have some breathing room as Netflix is targeting a spring premiere date for Arrested Development when it plans to make all episodes available at the same time.
“We are thrilled with the direction of the show, with the footage we have seen and with the relationship between Mitch, Imagine, 20th and Netflix,” a Netflix spokeswoman said. “At this time, we are not confirming or announcing the final episode count but we are sure fans will be thrilled when we do.”