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Jason Bateman Signs on for More ‘Arrested Development’

Variety logo Variety 5/13/2017 Joe Otterson

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Arrested Development” fans could very well have reason to celebrate, with series star Jason Bateman saying he has “officially signed on to more” of the cult hit series.

Bateman tweeted on Friday: “Look very probable I’m going to put some miles on the Stair Car this summer. Just officially signed on to more ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT today.”

There has been considerable buzz surrounding a new season of the comedy for quite some time with cast members and producers teasing the likelihood of Season 5, though noting that scheduling issues caused some difficulty.

Executive producer Brian Grazer said two years ago that he was working on 17 new episodes. Around the same time, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos teased a possible fifth season, telling reporters, “We’re plugging along. It’s a long, complex deal … The talent is very busy… and it’s owned by Fox,” though he confirmed discussions with the cast were underway. About one year ago, series creator Mitch Hurwitz said he is outlining a new season, but would not start writing scripts until the cast was officially signed on.

The sitcom went to Netflix for a fourth season in 2013, after airing for three seasons on Fox from 2004-2006. The series never achieved significant broadcast ratings, but garnered widespread critical acclaim. It was nominated for 25 Emmy Awards, winning six.

In addition to Bateman, the cast included Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jessica Walter.

Many of the cast members have commented on a future season, including Jeffrey Tambor, who in early 2016 told Variety at the SAG Awards, “First of all, we’re always coming back and there’s always that,” moments after winning his award for “Transparent.” “I think it’s prophetic that Jason Bateman handed me the award tonight and said, ‘Come on up, Dad.'”

The timing of Bateman’s deal is also interesting, considering De Rossi just departed ABC’s “Scandal” on which she was a series regular for the past two seasons. She left the show on her own terms, but did not mention “Arrested Development” as reasoning for her exit.

Twentieth Century Fox Television, which produces “Arrested Development,” declined to comment. Variety has reached out to Netflix and reps for Bateman and Hurwitz.

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