Jason Bateman reveals first look at Arrested Development season four

The star's tweeted on-set picture causes internet pulses to race ahead of the comedy's return in 2013 on Netflix

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If you’re a true modern comedy fan, there’s been something missing from your life since 2006… that of course is the marvellously offbeat and funny Arrested Development. 

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Despite pleas from fans (and the Bluth family on-screen) to save the show, Fox axed the story of one man’s attempt to save his dysfunctional family during the third season, as ratings failed to match critical appreciation for the comedy. 

But earlier this year Netflix (who said the internet never gave you anything?) threw drowning comedy lovers a life raft with the announcement that they were to continue the story of Michael, Gob, Buster and (The Bluth) company with a fourth run of the programme – set to hit our screens in early 2013.

And now, those who dared to dream have been rewarded with some concrete proof that after all the rumours of a return to TV, movies and internet spin-offs over the past half-decade, finally the Bluth’s are really back.

Despite not featuring any recognisable member of Newport Beach’s most colourful family, one single picture, tweeted by the show’s star Jason Bateman (Michael Bluth) has set Internet pulses racing with anticipation. 

Within hours, the fairly innocuous shot of an airport check-in desk and a few crew accompanied by the message “First day. Away we go…” had travelled around Twitter like wildfire, attracting many thousands of retweets and excited comments. 

The plot of the new series remains a closely guarded secret, but it is understood there will be ten parts to season four, and they will all debut online via Netflix on the same day in early 2013.

First airing in 2003 on Fox, Michael Hurwitz’s Arrested Development has so far treated viewers to 53 marvellous episodes. Its critical success has helped many of the show’s stars, including Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett and Portia de Rossi go on to enjoy high profile acting work across Hollywood.

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I’m sure there’ll be more season four teasers to come, but for now, why not sit back and enjoy some of the best moments from Arrested Development so far…