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