Fans excited for the return of Arrested Development will have to temper that excitement just a little. Although the fifth season of the show is still set to arrive in late May, Netflix will release only half of the episodes – eight of them – at this time.
This is something the streaming giant has done with some of their other shows such as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Ranch. Why? To maximise their chances at award consideration. The first eight episodes of Arrested Development season five will be released just two days before the end of the Emmy consideration window. The second half of the season should debut later this year.
It’s a bit of a cynical move, and one that gives fans the short end of the stick, although it does suggest that Netflix have big confidence that this season of the show will be challenging for Emmys, which would be considered an improvement after the fourth season of the show was met with relative disappointment.
This was mostly due to the large cast not being able to match up their busy schedules, thus most of the season four episodes focused on an individual character away from the rest of the group, with the whole cast only appearing together sporadically.
The new season will reunite the cast – Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Jessica Walter, Alia Shawkat, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale and Jeffrey Tambor – and this season should have plenty more interactions between the Bluth family.
Netflix chasing after some Emmy prestige is nothing new, and we’ll wait and see if their confidence in this new season is justified. Season five of Arrested Development arrives on Tuesday, May 29.