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Arrested Development's Surprising Season 5 Premise/Format Revealed — It's Going to Be Part [Spoiler]!

TVLine logo TVLine 1/23/2017 Michael Ausiello
© Provided by TVLine

Get ready to see the Bluth clan like you’ve never seen them before — and we mean that literally.

Although Netflix declined to confirm/comment, TVLine has learned exclusively that Arrested Development‘s long-gestating fifth season will likely have a major prequel element, with potentially half of the action unfolding in flashbacks featuring much younger versions of all the principal characters (played by different actors).

The move, which an insider notes isn’t entirely set in stone, would go a long way in clearing Season 5’s major scheduling hurdle (i.e. corralling the insanely busy cast at the same time) without having to resort to Season 4’s polarizing standalone-character format. “More of the episodes can now include all of the original cast together, with lots of big group family scenes,” says a source.

Arrested Development EP Brian Grazer hinted at a possible scheduling-related format shakeup earlier this month at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, telling reporters, “I think we found a way to create the compensation structure for all the actors and create a work matrix so they can still make movies and do other things and it will all integrate.”

Grazer previously teased that Season 5 would feature 17 new episodes. Rumor has it production is slated to begin in June.

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