Plans never go off without a hitch. Last week, when Arrested Development co-creator Mitch Hurwitz announced in a lengthy Twitter missive that the Netflix-only fourth season had been “remixed” out from 15 episodes to 22, fans generally rejoiced. Hurwitz promised that the new edit would make the season feel a lot more similar to the rest of the series before it (and would nudge the show ever closer to finally making its way into syndication), but now it seems like it’s causing trouble as the show’s fifth season also begins to take shape. Classic Bluths.
The Hollywood Reporter broke news that several of the series’ leading stars are requesting more money in light of the recut and re-released fourth season. According to unnamed sources, “actors including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera and David Cross are asking for added compensation after creator Mitch Hurwitz and producer 20th Century Fox Television re-edited the 15-episode season to a full 22 with the hope of providing a new lure for fans and landing a lucrative syndication deal for the series.”
The article also offers a surprising look at how the cast’s deals were structured for the piecemeal assembly of the prior season: “According to sources, most of the cast — which also includes Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor, Alia Shawkat and Tony Hale — was paid $100,000 each for their stand-alone episodes, $50,000 for each installment where they had a little screen time, and another $25,000 for ones in which they barely appeared.”
Given this structure, it’s understandable where the cast might be left upset. If they were paid based on screen time, the reshuffling of said screen time would likely increase rates all around, when those “barely appeared” episodes presumably feature them in primary stories. 20th Century Fox, for its part, has reportedly “balked” at paying additional cast fees for the recut season, but we’ll be following this situation as it assumedly continues to develop.
In related news, the fifth season of Arrested Development is set to premiere on Netflix on May 29th. In anticipation, the first trailer has been released: