‘Arrested Development’s’ Next Season Will Be a Partial Whodunit


Arrested Development may already be the twistiest comedy on television — particularly when it’s doing a tiresomely experimental one-character-perspective-per-episode thing, as in its fourth season. (This “experimentation” was also a bit of a logistical necessity: it was structured around actors’ schedules and budgetary constraints.) But the recently confirmed upcoming season will, from what’s revealed in a description from Jason Batemen, overlap with a genre whose very life-blood is wild plot twists: the murder mystery. As you may recall, it appeared at the end of Season 4 that Lucille Austero — played by Liza Minnelli in a painfully nuanced depiction of life with “the dizzies” — had been murdered. And it seems like Season 5 will center around that fact.

Bateman spoke yesterday with Entertainment Weekly Radio — or Sirius XM, channel 105 — about the upcoming season, saying:

The central spine of that story of is the death of Liza Minnelli’s character, and a bit of whodunit, who may have done it, who had something to do with it. That’s sort of a central thread around which [creator Mitch Hurwitz] is going to braid in all the colorful plot complications that he knows how to do.

It also seems like even after this season, they’re hoping to get another, as Hurwitz had been planning the seasons following the original run to make up a three-act structure (outside of their complicated individual, internal structures), with this second Netflix season being the second act. Perhaps most exciting to fans will be the fact that the cast will be filming this fifth season together, as the scheduling obstacles for it aren’t the same this time around as with the fourth. Bateman openly discussed some of the shortcomings of that first Netflix season, saying:

[Mitch] was embracing the interface of Netflix, which was fairly new at the time in original programming, and wanted to be able to basically have you click out of one episode and click into somebody else’s episode and see a different view point on this simultaneous action. Ultimately, editorially, it didn’t really come together as well as he wanted it to, and then he had to dictate an order of watching, and it ended up being a little bit more complicated than I think one intended. But we’re still very proud of those episodes obviously — and really excited that we get to be together in these.