Netflix released this trailer for “Arrested Development” on Sunday. It’s not a great trailer. But this was never a show that lent itself to being tidily summarized in ads, so I’ll choose to focus on enjoying seeing the cast in action again:
Exciting news for fans of “The Killing,” which AMC canceled earlier this year after executives finally saw the first season finale (because remember that finale, and how angry everyone was? Good times). DirecTV and Netflix are both “in early talks” to potentially maybe renew the show for a third season, reports walking exclamation point Michael Ausiello.
This is definitely a thing that might happen, because it happens just about every time Netflix or DirecTV are mentioned as potential saviors for canceled shows. Remember when Netflix picked up “Terra Nova”? Or when Netflix renewed “The River,” a show we all loved and we all definitely remember, because it was definitely a real show that aired on television? Or when Netflix revived “Jericho”? Or when Netflix brought back “Reno 911”? You clearly remember these things, because you spend all of your free time watching new episodes of “Terra Nova” and “The River” and “Jericho” and “Reno 911.”
Of course, it’s worth remembering that this sort of thing (a show canceled by one network and saved by DirecTV or Netflix) has only happened three (3) times in recent years. “Arrested Development” was canceled by Fox in 2006 and new episodes are being filmed right now for Netflix; “Friday Night Lights” was saved by a DirecTV/NBC deal that allowed its final three seasons to air first on DirecTV before airing on NBC; and “Damages,” which was canceled by FX, was then given two additional seasons by DirecTV. But because this sort of thing happened three times — and two of those times, it involved rescuing cult favorites with massively devoted fan bases (also, “Damages”) — fans seem to think it’s possible for their favorite canceled shows. Maybe there will also be new episodes of “The Critic” on Starz? A guy can dream.
(This line of rumormongering is closely related to those “Hey, I heard they might make a movie based on [some show]!” reports. Because “Serenity” happened and because “Arrested Development” did finally reemerge, we’re going to hear about the ‘rumored’ “Party Down”/”Deadwood”/”Veronica Mars”/”Gilmore Girls”/”That’s So Raven”/etc. movies from now until the sun burns out. Humankind could eventually develop the ability to travel through time, and a representative could be sent back to our modern era to warn us about some avoidable disaster or other, and all we’re going to want to know is “So did they ever make that ‘Party Down’ movie!?”. Because, in fairness, I’d probably ask that if I met someone from the future.)
The return of “Arrested Development” is tantalizingly, astonishingly close. Vulture is kind enough to provide the latest news: The show’s fourth season is filming this summer (!) and all 10 episodes will premiere on the same day in 2013. Yes, on one undetermined date next year, you will get to sit down and watch 10 new episodes of “Arrested Development,” provided you have subscribed to Netflix by that point (or if you know somebody else who has such a subscription).
Other tidbits: The show won’t be doing the each-episode-focused-on-one-character idea that had been previously discussed; no mention was actually made of the movie, which was for so many years the presumed vehicle for an “Arrested” reunion; and there is the potential for additional seasons on Netflix. (Personally, I’d much rather see multiple new seasons rather than a movie, so this could be great news.)
Head on over to Vulture to read more, particularly to learn whether or not Bob Loblaw will return, which is the only thing any of us were actually wondering.
And now, some good news for fans of quirky, low-rated comedies (who need cheering up after recent setbacks for “Community” and “Cougar Town“): Netflix has struck a deal to bring back “Arrested Development.” I know! Frozen bananas and hot ham water for everyone.
But, before you get too excited, there are a few things to note: This is just the licensing deal, and while that clears an important hurdle in finding a home for the new episodes, it doesn’t mean the show heads right back into production. The show is expected to return in the first half of 2013. None of the cast members have signed deals yet, and while they are all expected back, they still have to sign contracts and figure out their schedules (like Will Arnett, who has another sitcom job on NBC’s “Up All Night”). Also unclear is the status of the much-discussed movie, with different sources telling Variety different things.
Still! This is great because new “Arrested Development” episodes are inching that much closer to reality. (Six seasons and a movie would be outstanding. Netflix/Fox/Imagine, make that happen, would you?) And Netflix, a company already moving towards original content with the Kevin Spacey-David Fincher series “House of Cards,” inches that much closer to repairing its image after a particularly brutal year. After all, it’s hard to imagine a better way for Non-Qwikster to repair its image than giving the world more of the Bluths.
The creator of “Arrested Development” has some suggestions for anybody out there hoping to create an iconic and unwatched sitcom:
Audiences love fast cars and exciting vehicles
So see if you can put in some heavy machinery like a stair-car, that isn’t easily associated with speed or sex appeal.
Some of his other tips include “Add a sprinkle of incest” and “Make easy jokes about minority groups.” [Guardian]
There’s a terrific Mitch Hurwitz interview up at the A.V. Club, and I would do the thing where I pick one particular quote or tidbit and then link to the rest of it, but honestly, it’s all so good and interesting and deeply arresting that you should go read it right this very second.
This is an interesting little read on Mitch Hurwitz and Will Arnett. Their new series, “Running Wilde,” is not doing so well and the ratings and isn’t long for this world. There’s an undercurrent in any consideration of the show that can basically be summed up as: “It’s not ‘Arrested Development.'” Whether you agree or disagree that that’s a fair way to assess the show, it speaks to a broader problem. When you achieve fame, renown, fortune or success with one particular work (whether it’s a movie, TV show, play, song, painting, Web short, sonnet, whatever), there’s an immediate and undeniable danger ahead: No matter what you make next, it will be compared to what came before. If you make “The Godfather,” your follow-up better goddamn be “The Godfather, Part II” (well, technically “The Conversation,” but you know what I mean).
That’s the reason there are One Hit Wonders (or “Oneders,” if you will). That’s the reason there’s a sophomore slump. That’s the reason there are a lot of terrific works from artists who never again managed to achieve the same level of success. There are a thousand different factors, but the biggest one is the need to live up to what worked in the first place. And that is, of course, what’s happening with “Running Wilde.” I can’t complain. I had the same thoughts. You can’t watch it and avoid thinking: “If only this were ‘Arrested Development.'”
(Of course, that’s no reason to joke about holding viewers hostage by saying they need to watch “Running Wilde” if they ever want an “Arrested Development” movie.)
“I have come to terms with the fact that this may be an acquired taste, if you know about Arrested Development. I’m not comparing this to Modern Family, but even if I had done something of that high quality, there might have been a big group of critics that would have said, “It’s different. He’s backing off something.” My personality and, more to the point, my past work is going to be a factor, in the discussion of this. Hopefully, it won’t be with an audience, but I think it will be with critics.”
— Mitch Hurwitz on “Running Wilde,” his new — and not-so-critically-adored — sitcom with Will Arnett. There’s more, and it’s pretty swell, so you should read it.
Every “Hey Brother” from “Arrested Development.” Never, ever, ever gets old. [via TheDuty]