When Mitchell Hurwitz announced he had remixed the polarizing Season 4 of the critically acclaimed comedy Arrested Development, he wasn't shy about admitting it wasn't entirely for the fans. One of the revamped season's main purposes is an attempt to capitalize on a potential global syndication deal that could prove very lucrative for the series when Netflix's exclusive Arrested Development window expires. This move has caused some issues with show's cast members, many of whom are concerned about losing out on any additional money owed to them for the reedited and retitled season ahead of any syndication deals.
Several of the cast members seeking potentially owed dues include Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, David Cross, and Michael Cera. When Season 4 of Arrested Development was first filmed, THR reports each actor was specifically paid $100,000 for their stand-alone episode, $50,000 for episodes with less screentime, and $25,000 for episodes with minimal appearances. The representatives are requesting that the actors get additional pay based on the revamped episodes, which include re-arranged scenes and previously unaired footage meant to make the season more cohesive with the ensemble, which means the actors' fees would have been altered, had Season 4 originally aired that way. The reps' primary argument is that the additional episode count -- it went from 15 eps to 22 shorter installments -- reduced the pay-per-episode deal that was initially negotiated. And with the possibility of a profitable syndication deal on the horizon, it sounds like all involved are making sure the actors get some of that money inside the syndicated Banana Stand.
So far, 20th TV has not made moves to compensate the Arrested Development cast for the altered episodes. The company has reportedly argued it reserves the right to re-edit existing episodes and air them again without having to pay actors any extra fees. Neither 20th TV nor Netflix offered public comment on the drama or any plans for syndication, although with Season 5 premiering in late May, the show's episode count (which includes the remixed episodes) will almost definitely be in the range acceptable for syndication, which is generally 100 individual episodes.
With representatives doing most of the talking at the moment, it's hard to say whether or not this quarrel will affect potential future seasons of Arrested Development. Syndication deals can mean big paydays for some, and missing out on that money may very well cause some to back out of additional deals. (Season 5 is reportedly finished filming, so there likely wouldn't be anything affecting that season itself.) Of course, this could also be one of those things where everyone continues to work amicably regardless of the financial dispute, while lawyers hash things out in back rooms over the next couple of years. Truthfully, it's hard to gauge just how much this situation could impact the series.
The remixed Season 4 of Arrested Development is currently streaming on Netflix, and Season 5 is set to arrive on the platform Tuesday, May 29 at 12:01 a.m. PT. For a look at what else is coming to Netflix this month, head over to our Netflix premiere guide. Those looking for a more generalized list of upcoming television shows can find what they need at our summer premiere guide.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.