Arrested Development: Return of the series, and a movie

The Takeaway

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Five years after the show went off the air, producers and stars of “Arrested Development” have confirmed: The Bluth family is making a comeback. Rumors have been flying about the show’s return since it was canceled. On Sunday, producer Mitchell Hurwitz joined the cast for a reunion and made a surprise announcement.

He said they are going to “not only bring the characters back in a movie,” Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times told PRI’s The Takeaway. “He wants to do a sort of preliminary, limited-run TV series of about 9 or 10 episodes that would reintroduce all the characters and show where they’ve been, and then that would lead into the movie.”

One of the show’s stars, Jason Bateman then confirmed the rumors on Twitter. “It’s true,” he tweeted on Sunday. “We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!”

The show’s fans have stayed faithful for the past few years. “Certainly there is a revenue stream in terms of the DVD sales that continue to do very well,” Itzkoff reports.

Those fans are likely the reason why the show is moving to the silver screen. “These are the kinds of people that are going to turn out on day one,” Itzkoff says. “They’re going to be your word of mouth and spread it around to other people and say you’ve got to check that out.”

For the movie industry, that kind of a fan base is becoming increasingly important. “In an era where nobody wants to make a movie without there being some sort of built in audience for the property – some sort of existing familiarity and fan base – certainly,” Itzkoff says, “Arrested Development would bring that to the table.”

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“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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