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Ron Howard Provides Promising Update On ‘Arrested Development’ Season 5

During his press tour for his latest film In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard stopped by Good Morning America today and spoke with Amy Robach, who asked the Oscar-winning director about the status of Arrested Development‘s Season 5.

“Well, Mitch Hurwitz the creator of the show is working with writers now,” Howard informed, “Netflix is behind it, 20th Century Fox is behind it.”

Beamed Robach, “That sounds like a yes!”

Howard replied: “It’s hopeful. What has happened is that the cast has become so freakin’ in demand and busy. Everyone wants to do it. Fans want it. I would be saddened if we didn’t achieve it. I’m the announcer and the narrator, and I have to get back to that microphone.” Howard also serves as EP on the show, and his Imagine Entertainment label produces it.

At last summer’s TCA, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told the press corps that another season was underway: “We are plugging along,” he said. “It’s a long, complex deal to make; talent is very busy. … The intent to have a new season of Arrested Development, and all negotiations are underway.”

Netflix said in November 2011 that it had picked up a fourth season of the comedy, which originally aired from 2003-06 on Fox. The 15-episode Season 4 went live on the streaming service on May 2013, and the notion of a fifth season has bandied about pretty much since then. Creator Mitch Hurwitz inked a multiyear deal with Netflix in April 2014, and talk of more Arrested Development heated up again this year. Series co-creator/co-executive producer Brian Grazer said in June that a 17-episode fifth season would premiere in 2016.