UPDATE (9:00 PM): Deadline is now reporting that 20th Century Fox TV has been in talks with both Showtime and Netflix to potentially air the proposed new episodes. We'll keep you abreast of further news as it develops.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Fans of "Arrested Development" received a ray of hope at a cast and crew reunion of the show in New York today, when series creator Mitch Hurwitz teased the possibility of airing an all-new nine or ten-episode "mini-season" that would serve as a lead-up to the long-rumored feature film. Of course, that hypothetical scenario will only be possible if the film itself actually comes to fruition, which remains undetermined at this point.

According to TVLine, Hurwitz made the announcement during a reunion panel at The New Yorker Festival today alongside fellow attendees Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, Alia Shawkat and Jessica Walter. He elaborated by saying that each episode of the presumptive new season would focus on a different character from the show - a direction likely necessitated by the fact that many of the series' former cast members are currently tied up with other commitments and probably wouldn't be available to film a full nine or ten episodes.

Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) later "confirmed" the news via Twitter, stating: "It's true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early '13. VERY excited!"

Of course, given that cast members have previously "confirmed" the feature film despite the fact that it's still very much up in the air, I'd suggest taking what Bateman tweeted with a grain of salt.

Indeed, this is all purely speculative at the moment; the movie obviously needs to be greenlit before the possibility of a new season can even be broached. Nevertheless, the show's rabid fanbase is no doubt buzzing at this hour.