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Arrested Development's development out on bail? And a TV Squad apology

by Ryan j Budke, posted Jan 24th 2006 9:42AM
Arrested Development
First off, no one loves Arrested Development more than I do. I can remember the first time I saw this quirky little show about a way-dysfunctional family, and thought "that makes mine look slightly more normal." On this site alone, I've written love letter after love letter in the form of reviews. I've signed every petition, I've tuned in for every episode and I own both seasons, so far, on DVD. That still wasn't enough for FOX, and no matter how much I loved the show, I'm only one man, and it appeared the majority of America disagreed with me.

Late last year, FOX announced that they were cutting back the ordered episodes of Arrested Development, from 22 to 13, a sure sign that a show is cancelled. Like a spoiled child with a broken toy, though, FOX still refused (as of this morning, even) to let go and "officially" cancel the show, waiting instead to see if there was "potential for the show to still find it's audience on FOX" (-Peter Liguori, Development President), you know, with it's final four episodes. The ones that are airing back to back Friday February 10th. Against the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Yea, that's going to be a ratings juggernaut. Even though the show hasn't been canceled, and therefore there can't be any "real" discussions about the show being picked up by another network, there has certainly been a fair share of rumors. And this, my dear TV Squad readers, is where I have to apologize.

You see, we have heard you. Every single tip and mumbling and stirring that you've heard and sent in, we've heard as well. We were trying to do something special for you guys, and I myself spent over five hours on the phone alone with Showtime, NBC and ABC from the beginning of December to the start of last week. It turned out very quickly that the NBC rumors were just that: rumors. The Peacock was never in talks to get Arrested Development, no matter how much I dreamt about a Bluth/Earl pairing. ABC, though quite in love with AD, never got off the ground with any talks, either. Frankly, the way they're treating Emily's Reasons Why Not right now, this is probably a blessing in disguise. Could you imagine our reaction if they had picked up Michael and Co., only to air a single episode and then cancel it? I think not. That brings us to Showtime, and as with the majority of the rumors, this is where the majority of my time was spent.

Some people were very excited about the prospect of Arrested Development moving to Showtime, because it would allow the show more freedom from censorship. Me, personally, I'm not going to laugh any harder if I actually get to see Kitty Sanchez's breasts instead of blurs, or hear Buster sprout profanities instead of being bleeped. But I was excited that this seemed like a very solid option, and that my beloved second family would shortly be returning to the small screen. I called Showtime and got a quick response with some juicy "off the record" information, but an on-the-record "No comment." After a couple more phone calls, we were promised something that every reporter dreams about: an exclusive. And this is where it got painful for us here at TV Squad. See, we had this great chunk of information for all our loyal readers out there, but one of the conditions of having it was that we couldn't report or "encourage" any of the other rumors swirling around the show. So we had to sit, and wait, and listen to you guys, wondering why we weren't reporting anything, while we bubbled with excitement with the knowledge that we were about to drop. Then we got burned.

A deal to relocate the Fox comedy to cable is still in the works -- "We're having productive conversations with Twentieth, but we're a step shy of closing a deal," Greenblatt said -- but a pair of major obstacles could still botch plans.

"(Creator Mitch Hurwitz) has not yet said, 'I want to continue to do the show,'" Greenblatt stated, adding Hurwitz's participation would be required if Showtime were to produce new episodes. "Also, 20th is asking for substantially more (coin) than what Fox is paying to license the show. It's very expensive.

"That said, it certainly fits what we do, and I'm a big fan of the show," exec continued. "We're all trying very hard to make it happen."

Greenblatt insisted to reporters bringing over the prepetually ratings-challenged laffer to Showtime made sense: "If even only a fraction of the Fox audience came to Showtime, it'd be a hit show for us."
            -Variety.com Thursday January 19th

There it is ladies and gentlemen, our "exclusive." There was a lot of concern when WIN got bought out by AOL last year, that we would change and become this corporate entity, but we haven't. We've actually strived not to. We're still a small community of writers who are as passionate about the topics we report on as you our readers are.

Here's the biggest burn though: I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. You see, I love this show and am just so happy that there's even a chance of it coming back on TV that I CAN NOT be disappointed; I just can't. The possibility of me being able to turn on Showtime next fall and watch Weeds and then Arrested Development back to back has me just giddy. So, thanks for sticking with us through all of this, and we promise you, we've learned a big lesson with this one. We won't report any rumor that someone's cousin's brother-in-law's step-son's best friend who's an assistant mail clerk to the paper company that delivers to FOX tells us, but you can count on TV Squad to bring you the latest and the greatest in big stuff for the small screen.

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17 Comments

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Belgand

Showtime would definitely be smart to pick this up since they're a premium channel. Right now HBO is seriously kicking their asses with thier quality original programming. Showtime has never really had a breakout hit show that drew people in though. With the faster release dates on DVDs as well there's very little reason to subscribe to a premium channel just for movies.

Arrested Development, however, would net them a critically-acclaimed show with a strong, rabid fan base that would turn almost directly into new subscriptions. Yes, ratings matter, but Showtime doesn't have to worry about appeasing advertisers, just putting on a quality show that keeps their subscriber rate up. Since this will almost certainly inflate their subscriptions by a large margin (honestly, who in the hell gets Showtime?) there's almost no way for them to lose.

Personally I think they should keep some of the comedic bleeping (e.g. when Buster lets loose in season one), but not worry about the incidental stuff.

February 14 2006 at 1:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamaal

i,m the biggest fan of arrested development .if your truely a fan what is gob full name.and what is busters first name

February 07 2006 at 7:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C R

I like the "literal doctor" idea.

Hey, Showtime. I've got my cable company on speed dial. Give me a reason to use it.

January 27 2006 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erik

One more thing...can't you just picture that doctor (the one who's always giving the Bluth's "bad news" that isn't really as "bad" as it initially sounds) coming up the family and telling them..."We've lost the show..." and then everyone is appropriately sad, and then he finishes "...to Showtime." Let it be real, God. Let it be real.

January 26 2006 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erik

I agree with maddr on this one, there's no reason to let the fight for AD "die." It's a great show. Keep up the fight! Save our Bluth's, Showtime! Booyah.

January 26 2006 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gudlyf

Honestly, the "off the record" stuff was nothing worth repeating, though it seemed "juicy" at the time. Now it's just old news.

January 25 2006 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

It looks like, technically, only three episodes are airing Feb 10: "Fakin' It", "Family Ties", and a one-hour [season?] finale called "Exit Strategy".

January 24 2006 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

I've made a huge mistake. That link, while correct, got mangled by the comment system's auto-linking feature, so let's try that again:

http://www.petitiononline.com/ArrOnSho/

January 24 2006 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

You can help bring this great show to Showtime:

http://www.petitiononline.com/ArrOnSho/

700+
signatures!

January 24 2006 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maddr

hey....

why let it die? True, it does get boring fighting for this show every day, keeping track of all the hills and valleys, but it worked for family guy, and maybe futurama. Sometimes i think it may be easier to educated the viewing public than to clamor and beg the suits to keep the shows. Back to fighting for the show, c'mon a little longer, what else is there to do all day...work?

January 24 2006 at 2:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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