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This week's cover: Behind the scenes of the new 'Arrested Development'

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One month from now, all of your questions will be answered. What dysfunctional disasters have befallen our Bluths since we last saw them in 2006? Did Buster survive that last seal confrontation with his other hand intact? Is the stair car now a hybrid? (Probably not.) And, oh, yes, will the new Arrested Development episodes scratch that seven-year-wait of an itch?

But maybe you can’t wait another month. You need some answers now. So make yourself a breakfast of champions — vodka rocks and a piece of toast, perhaps — and check out this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, which celebrates AD with three collector’s covers (click through to see the rest) and fills you in on the revival of one of this century’s most beloved cult comedies. On May 26, Netflix will release 15 new episodes of Arrested all at once, and they are intended to serve as a set-up to that long-anticipated movie (which is not yet greenlighted). We spoke with all nine cast members as well as series creator/executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz about the surprisingly emotional reunion, what to expect from this batch of episodes, and more. “This year is about the enduring entanglements of family,” Hurwitz explains of the new season. “They are 10 years older than when we met, so that means emotionally they’re, like, two years older than we met them. Amazing things happen when one goes from being emotionally 12 years old to emotionally being 14 years old.” Or, as Will Arnett, a.k.a. misguided magician Gob, declares: “It’s the story of shame, cunning, thievery, dishonor, backstabbing, deceit, bold-faced lying, one-upmanship, psychological torture, lust, financial ruin, and magic, all supported by a very broad beam of dysfunctional love.” READ FULL STORY

Jason Bateman explains 'Arrested Development' 'hybrid package' to Jimmy Kimmel -- VIDEO

Arrested Development fans are counting down the days (only 45 to go!) until its 15-episode fourth season premieres on Netflix, and last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jason Bateman went into detail about how the new episodes will differ from those that aired during the cult classic sitcom’s initial 2003-06 run on Fox.

On Kimmel to promote his new film Disconnect, Bateman told the host, “I want people to manage their expectations. They are great episodes, but what they are not are episodes like it was when it was on that other network [Fox].”

Bateman went on to explain that the narrative writer/creator Mitchell Hurwitz conceived for the planned Arrested Development movie was too expansive, so he broke the plot of film’s first act into the episodes that will air on Netflix.

“We were supposed to do a movie, and we still very well might. But every time the showrunner tried to put this big story that he wants to do in this movie in a movie script, which can only be like 110 pages, it got too big. So what he thought was, I’ll put the first act of this three-act story in these episodes,” Bateman explained. “So each character gets their own episode and all the action happens at the same time, so it can only really work on Netflix, where these episodes are released on the same day. So like, you can stop my episode if you see Gob [Will Arnett] run by on his Segway, you can stop mine, click over into his, watch where he’s going because all the action happens at the same time ’cause it’s all just act one. And in the movie it’s going to be act 2 and act 3, so it’s like a hybrid package.”

Kimmel joked that he might need Bateman to “sit with me” to understand the new episodes, which will be available in full on Netflix beginning May 26. “Yeah,” the actor quipped, “the country is not really going to put out a lot of work that day.”

Watch Bateman talk Arrested Development, as well as the slightly disturbing method he uses to cry on camera, below.

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'House of Cards,' episodes 9 and 10: We all fall down

Correction: We all fall down, except Frank Underwood, who will be the only human keeping the cockroaches company after the apocalypse. And those cockroaches will quickly learn to do his bidding, or else.

Chapter 8 of House of Cards ends with Frank apparently foiled, while Chapter 9 pushes things even further when Frank’s nearest and dearest begin to rebel against him — though like a barbecue-loving cat, Rep. Underwood obviously ends up landing on his feet. We’ll see if he can keep that perch in season 1’s last three episodes, which may or may not feature the death of a major character.

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'House of Cards,' episodes 7 and 8: The rise of Peter Russo

First and foremost, EW.com would like to congratulate our fictional, unnamed head editor — a man who apparently will be hired by Washington, D.C.’s most prestigious fake newspaper sometime this spring. (House of Cards tells the future, y’all.) Even if snooty political reporter Janine doesn’t think a stint at this website qualifies one to run the Washington Herald, we believe that experiences gained here would absolutely translate to an imaginary newsroom.

Anyway: House of Cards loses a bit of steam in this pair of episodes, which find Peter Russo throwing himself into his new campaign and Frank wistfully visiting his alma mater. This slight slow-down wouldn’t be so obvious in a show that aired once a week; episodes that forgo plot for character development certainly have their place, as anyone who’s enjoyed Breaking Bad‘s “Fly” or Mad Men‘s “The Suitcase” would know. But in a show designed to be watched all at once — or as close to “all at once” as possible — storyline naturally takes precedence over anything else. House of Cards only really works if it can hook its viewers so thoroughly that they simply can’t wait to watch its next installment, and by that criteria, chapters 7 and 8 fall short.

Still, there’s plenty of good stuff here — thanks mostly to Russo, who’s transforming quickly from ambivalent, underachieving congressman to smooth gubernatorial candidate.  READ FULL STORY

'House of Cards,' episodes 5 and 6: Strikes, 'Slugline,' and the worst bath ever

In the fifth and sixth episodes of House of Cards, the series’s plot begins to thicken like the glaze on Freddy’s ribs. These hours give us more insight into the Underwoods’ twisted marriage, show a turning point for poor Peter Russo, and present something we never could have seen coming — Frank faltering in a very public way.

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Your port in the storm: Ride out Nemo with these streaming selections

Did congressman Frank Underwood manipulate Mother Nature into unleashing Winter Storm Nemo? If you’ve been watching Netflix’s House of Cards, you’ll know that Kevin Spacey’s character is capable of pretty much anything — and if you haven’t been watching it (but happen to live on the East Coast), whaddaya know, the ginormous blizzard currently barreling toward you will give you the perfect opportunity to start. Frank, you sly dog!

Of course, if you don’t want to give Rep. Underwood the satisfaction of victory, you can always ditch House of Cards for any number of other streaming options perfect for binge-viewing. Here’s a list of our top picks:

- In May, new episodes of Arrested Development will finally hit Netflix, possibly causing the Internet to implode from excitement. Revisit the comedy’s original three seasons there to prepare for what’s coming.

- Breaking Bad‘s final season will draw to a close on AMC this summer. If you’re not caught up (or — for shame! — never started watching), now’s your chance to fix that via Netflix.

- And on a similar note, Downton Abbey‘s first two series seasons are on Hulu, and PBS.org has every episode of the current third season. (Well, every one that’s aired in the U.S., at least.) READ FULL STORY

'House of Cards,' episodes 3 and 4: Are you all in?

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Netflix’s new political thriller House of Cards is designed for binge-viewing, which makes it great for consumers who enjoy watching TV at their own pace — and less great for writers accustomed to dissecting shows hour by hour and week by week. By now, some of you have likely watched House‘s whole 13-episode first season already; others are halfway done, or a few episodes in, or waiting to blow through the entire thing in one marathon viewing session. So what’s a recapper to do?

Since Ken Tucker already covered the first two episodes of the series in his initial review, we’re going to dive right in and discuss its next two installments here. (We’ll tackle 5 and 6 next Wednesday.) If nothing else, this pair of episodes does seem a good place to pause and take stock of the series thus far — especially given the second hour’s doozy of an ending. This should go without saying, but just to be safe: spoilers follow, y’all.

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'Arrested Development': Conan O'Brien tweets first official photo from the new episodes

Today’s news: it’s not all doom and gloom and flying cows! This morning, Conan O’Brien tweeted what he’s calling the “first official photo from the new Arrested Development.” It’s sure to cheer up any Hurricane Sandy-struck AD fans who feel like they’re about to blue themselves. Here’s the shot:

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Hulu might restrict access to those with cable subscriptions -- eventually

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Here’s some potentially bad news for cable cutters: The New York Post writes that free streaming site Hulu might eventually become a Pay-TV-subscribers-only zone. Last fall, Fox began limiting access to its most popular series on Hulu; while Dish TV, Verizon Fios, and Hulu Plus subscribers can still watch shows like Glee the day after they air, everyone else must wait an additional eight days if they want to view for free.

And according to the Post, this “authentication” model — so-called because viewers without Hulu Plus get next-day access to Fox shows by logging in with a Dish or Verizon account number — may soon become more common across the site. The paper reports that Comcast could introduce authentication for its subscribers in the near future. That cable network is reportedly going to require authentication for those who wish to watch Summer 2012 Olympics coverage as well.

Anyone who doesn’t currently pay for cable or satellite TV shouldn’t necessarily worry. READ FULL STORY

Various crazy schemes can't prevent Netflix shares from plunging

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I have a theory about why everything has gone wrong with the once-beloved, now-maligned Netflix. In simple terms: They were Scrooge McDuck, and they decided that they wanted to be the Beagle Boys — the gang of hoodlum bank robbers who conceive crazy schemes to rob Scrooge McDuck. One year ago, Netflix was practicing a grateful backstroke through a mountain of money. There was some trouble on the horizon, of course. Content providers were starting to create their own video-streaming services, and mailing DVDs was costly, and users would fly into a blind rage whenever the site slightly updated its interface. Scrooge McDuck constantly faces down threats from competitors like Flintheart Glomgold (Amazon Instant Video) or people who want to undermine his business model, like Magica DeSpell (Starz’ decision to remove its content from Netflix). There were ways to solve these problems. Netflix had an adoring constituency. Everyone you knew was watching Party Down. Your parents were starting to use “Netflix” as a verb. READ FULL STORY

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