arrested development season 4

Mitch Hurwitz and 20th Century Fox Television may have just made a huuuge mistake. The polarizing Arrested Development season 4 “remix” was met with some confusion by fans and critics, but with mostly consternation by the cast members.

The new version of the season re-edited the episodes into shorter run times, but in the process expanded the season length to 22 episodes from the original 15-episode run. This has a few of the Arrested Development cast members arguing that they deserve extra compensation. In this case, it’s unfortunate that [Ron Howard voice]: all the footage was found.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, and David Cross are asking for additional compensation for the extra episodes in the “remix” of Arrested Development season 4.

Hurwitz and 20th Century Fox Television re-edited the original 15 episodes, which often ran north of 30 minutes, into 22-minute installments over 22 episodes that followed the traditional storytelling structure of the first three seasons. The original version of the fourth season had been a narrative experiment on Hurwitz’s part, who had structured the season as a Rashomon-style story with each episode following one Bluth family member. While it was certainly a unique storytelling choice, it was also a strategy to maneuver around the busy schedules of the reunited cast, many of whom had shot to fame in the years since Arrested Development went off the air in 2005.

But this choice was ultimately met with mixed reactions, and Arrested Development season 4 has gone down as the weakest of the show’s seasons. Now with the remixed version, Hurwitz recut the season into 22 episodes to fit the more traditional interweaving storylines of prior seasons in a ploy to lure in new fans, advertise for the upcoming season 5, and perhaps eke out a syndication deal for the series.

In a recent post on social media Hurwitz admitted that the remix was an experiment to see “if I could make some money” — that is, if the 22-episode order would allow the series to “syndicate eventually.”

But while Hurwitz is set to make more money with the Arrested Development remix, the cast members won’t. THR reports that 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. But when the actors asked for compensation for the additional episode count, 20th Century Fox TV balked. The studio argues that it has the right to re-edit already aired episodes without paying the actors more, even though sources told THR that Hurwitz added a few minutes of unaired content. But the cast argues that this strategy effectively reduces the pay-per-episode that was originally negotiated. And with a possible syndication pact in the works, the studio is poised to gain even more than the actors.

Arrested Development season 5 premieres on Netflix on May 29, 2018.

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