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July 31, 2014

NBC's Silverman has his eye on Hurwitz's rejected pilot

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 4th 2007 1:02PM

NBCThe Hollywood Reporter reports that The Thick of It, a new pilot from Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz that was rejected by ABC, may still have a fighting chance.

The Thick of It is based on a British series about folks working for a low-level congressman. The series boasts some amazing comedic talent, including John Michael Higgins, Oliver Platt, Alex Borstein, and Michael McKean. The pilot was also directed by Christopher Guest.

As you may recall, Showtime wanted to pick up Arrested Development after it was canceled, but Hurwitz decided to end the series (despite being a fan of the show, I think that was a smart move to quit while the show was still good). Showtime also bid on Thick before ABC snatched it up and subsequently dropped it.

Now, NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman, who successfully turned the British Office into a successful American series, may have his eye on Hurwitz's new series.

The Thick of It sounds good on paper, but I can't help but wonder what it is that made ABC pass on it. It's not uncommon for networks to make dumb decisions and pass on quality shows, but on the other hand, there are plenty of examples of television series in which all the right ingredients still resulted in a rather lackluster product.

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Siobhan O\'Leary

Can someone please tell me if there is any hope at all of Arrested Development being picked up by any network for a fourth season? I had never even watched the show until I stumbled upon a re-run of it on the G-4 network. I was instantly hooked! I loved the show so much that I went out and bought all 3 seasons on dvd. It seems that so many more people are now just seeing this show for the first time lately and really love it. Almost everyone I know is now a fan of the show and it seems that it is too little too late. Please tell me that someone is going to produce a fourth season!!!

June 06 2007 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nick

"Actually, The Thick of It is based on a British series about people working for a low-level MP."
Actually, The Thick of It is based on a British series about people working for a mid-level minister - Hugh is Secretary of State for Social Affairs (and Citizenship).

But yes, it wouldn't be the same without the swearing and Peter Capaldi.

June 05 2007 at 4:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Shifty

Seinfeld's pilot wasn't that great and only had a second chance a year later when one exec used 2 hours out of his own budget to produce four more episodes and it slowly grew from there.

The caveman thing would probably appeal to more viewers at first and it already has some built in audience but its likely to die a quick death.

June 05 2007 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mk

don't you think the fact that ABC bumped this project, with christopher guest and mitchel hurwitz behind it, in favor of the series about Geico cavemen, is ample evidence of ABC's ability to promote quality programming? don't even get me started about all the networks and their other inane programming decisions. thank god someone recognizes good fiction when they see it. i can't imagine how 'seinfeld', 'arrested development', 'the office' or 'it's always sunny in philadelphia' ever saw the light of day with these nimrods in charge.

June 04 2007 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

"The Thick of It is based on a British series about folks working for a low-level congressman."

Actually, The Thick of It is based on a British series about people working for a low-level MP.

And it won't be any good without the swearing.

June 04 2007 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

If it was on Showtime or HBO, it could get away with being as crude/raunchy as the British version. While normally I like my comedy "clean", it just seemed to work for the show. Either way, I have no doubt the pilot was solid, despite ABC's pass. The source material and the people involved are just too good. I really hope NBC makes a play for it.

June 04 2007 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Shifty

ABC passed on CSI, Survivor, American Idol (ok so did everyone else), barely got Lost into a series, Grey's sat on the shelf for awhile and Desperate Housewives luckily survived all the attempted changes for the pilot and potential schedule (Friday nights?) Even with the new bodies a top of ABC I guess I shouldn't be surprised they passed on Thick and instead wanted a Caveman comedy.

Still its great to hear Showtime, HBO and NBC are still interested. I think Showtime or HBO are the best destinations for the show.

June 04 2007 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
derek

To clarify my earlier post, I was referring to the UK version of "Thick of It."

June 04 2007 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carl

If Hurwitz really wanted to end Arrested Development "while it was good", he should have ended it after the second season. Season three really handcuffed itself with the Charlize Theron/Mr. F garbage that took way too much time to wrap up. The last four episodes of the third season were fantastic, and it's a shame the entire season wasn't like that.

A fourth and maybe fifth season (even truncated) would have given AD time to right itself even further and cement a more positive legacy, rather than leave a somewhat bitter taste in some fans' mouths.

Regardless, I look forward to anything Hurwitz is behind and definitely would be interested to see something that might be as good or better than the UK Office.

June 04 2007 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
derek

I've watched the entire "Thick of It" series and I would say that it's as good, if not better, than the UK Office. It's also up there with "Life on Mars," "That Mitchell and Webb Look" and "Peep Show."

June 04 2007 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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