For Your Consideration: Half of Arrested Development Season Five


Netflix surprised fans when it announced that season five of Arrested Development will premiere later this month.

Now it’s surprising fans again by reportedly releasing only half of the season’s episodes.

According to EW, Netflix will split the 16-episodes of Arrested Development‘s new season in half. The first eight episodes will be available for streaming on Tuesday, May 29. The second eight episodes will be available sometime later this year.

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This is very similar to the strategy being used by Netflix for the fourth and final season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, whose first six episodes premiere on Wednesday, May 30.

Why is Netflix only releasing half seasons of the two comedies instead of waiting for all the episodes to be available? Awards.

May 31 is the deadline to qualify for Emmy consideration, and by releasing half seasons for both Arrested Development and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt just prior to that date, Netflix can get both shows in under the wire.

Splitting seasons in two is something of a broadcast and cable tradition nowadays. Shows like The Walking Dead frequently air the first half of their seasons, take an extended break, and then air the second half months later.

But the move has traditionally been unusual for streaming services. Unlike broadcast and cable, which release a single episode each week, Netflix typically releases all its episodes at once. This entices viewers to binge-watch the whole series over only a few days.

Of course, for many die-hard fans, a split season will simply lead to two shorter binges at different points in the year.

Also, as SlashFilm reports, the fact that Netflix is only releasing half of the latest season of Arrested Development suggests the remainder of the episodes aren’t ready yet. But Netflix must feel the first batch of episodes is Emmy-worthy if it’s rushing to release them by the consideration deadline.

Next: 6 must-watch Netflix originals coming in May

The entire cast will be back for season 5 of Arrested Development. Instead of continuing the character-specific episode format used when Netflix revived the series for the fourth season in 2013, this season will see the characters interacting more like they did in the show’s original run on the Fox network.

The trailer for Arrested Development‘s fifth season is available below.