Netflix, Showtime looking at new 'Arrested Development' limited series

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Image Credit: Carin Baer/Fox

Arrested Development may get another lease on life on the small screen: EW has confirmed that the producers of Arrested Development — the critically-acclaimed but short-lived comedy from Mitchell Hurwitz — are in talks with Showtime and Netflix about airing a limited number of original episodes that will update fans on the Bluth clan.

Hurwitz told attendees at the New Yorker Festival Sunday in New York that he wanted to shoot nine to 10 episodes that would air next fall and catch audiences up on the characters’ lives since the series ended in 2006 on Fox. The episodes would be produced by 20th Century Fox TV, which was responsible for the original single camera series that starred Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, and Portia DeRossi.

Hurwitz’ hope is that the limited series would serve as a walk-up to his long-gestating movie. “I have been working on the screenplay for a long time and found that as time went by there was so much more to the story,” he said at the festival, which was also attended by Development stars Bateman, De Rossi, and Cera, as well as David Cross, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat. Ron Howard, one of the comedy’s producers, even participated via speakerphone. “In fact, where everyone’s been for five years became a big part of the story. So, in working on the screenplay I found that even if I just gave five minutes per character to that backstory, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together. And that kinda gave birth to this thing we’ve not been pursuing for a while and we’re kinda going public with a little bit. We’re trying to do kind of limited run series into the movie.”

Hurwitz then unveiled his very unconventional plan. “We’re basically hoping to do nine or 10 episodes with almost one character per episode, where like the first episode will just be Buster. We’re kinda picturing it like, um, well the latest joke we have is that, you know, it’s Cambridge, Massachusetts and there’s all these scientists in lab coats and they’re waiting for somebody and Buster comes through the door wearing a lab quote and says `let’s begin,’ and they say, `you don’t get to wear the lab coat, we’re experimenting on you. [garbled] And then we go through his life and we meet the people in his life and maybe he goes to see his therapist who he’s getting a good rate on because it’s Tobias and he’s lost his license. We can do cross overs and things like that. But it’s an unusual style of show I think and we get him to a certain point of peril in his life and then maybe we jump over to like Maeby and she’s living with Cornel West … We’ll do this kind of thing that builds the peril in their lives until they all come together, really, in the first scene of the movie. It requires, and Ron [Howard] has been working on this too, it just requires studios to work together, they don’t normal work together in film and TV. It’s a really ambitious project but it’s also a very simple project in a way because it kind of gives the fans a level of detail for `granularity,’ which is a big word on the East Coast.

“I really have to say, we’ve talked about this, we’re all game, we hated be coy, we’ve been trying to put together this more ambitious idea and I think we’re very close, the script is halfway done and we have to get the film companies on board,” Hurwitz continued. “They’ve always been great to us but you know times are tough and money is tight but I’m very hopeful , there is business left to be done but creatively we have a very specific plan of how it would come out and what we would do and when we would shoot it. Our hope is that, perhaps the series is in the fall.”

Granted, this isn’t the first time that Showtime has emerged as some kind of savior for Arrested Development. Back in 2006, the pay cabler was considering whether to rescue the canceled show but obviously no deal was reached. But this latest development on Development is a horse of a different color — and one that the actors seem to have embraced. The stars in attendance at today’s festival acknowledged that they were keeping their schedules free to make such a series. — With reporting from Aubry D’Arminio


Comments (228 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 6
  • patrick

    this FTW!

    • The Dude

      I don’t understand this post…and I won’t respond to it.

      • JW

        ROTFLMA……..

      • Ryan

        “I don’t understand this post…and I won’t respond to it.”

        You responded to it.

      • Samwell

        You are not a true fan of the show, Ryan.

      • lexie

        Ha. Love.

      • hf

        FTW=For The Win

      • Jeremy

        Coo-Coo-Ca-Chaw!!

      • john

        Well played, sir.

      • Gunky

        Absolutely BRILLIANT comment. Subtle and exactly what the diehards needed!

      • Capt. Obvious

        Ryan’s not on board . . .

      • comeon!

        haha! True AD-style!

      • Mark

        Ryan, ‘I don’t understand it…I won’t respond to it..” is a classic Lucille Bluth retort! You need to rent this series and catch up on the hundreds of famous phrases us fans quote!!! Get with the program! And don’t take any shortcuts…no “cirsumventing”, if you will…!! I can’t wait to hear some more Gob-isms! I can’t wait for these new shows and the movie!

      • courtney

        You are clever :)

      • Muhammad

        That’s what you believe? for sooneme who destroyed twin towers, big ben is just an another theory compare to those biggest buildings. there don’t care don’t u see there just blame

    • tom

      LET IT GO ALREADY……..yes the show was great….and many fans want a movie….BUT IT HAS BEEN ALMOST 6 years…….LET IT GO

      • Gunky

        I have a suggestion as to where you can stick a frozen banana.

      • MarcHon

        Tom, you’ve made a huge mistake.

      • Mark

        Serenity/Firefly Part 2. A mediocre TV (ratings flop)show that a lot of vocal internet fans worshipped, gets a film, then flops at the box office, then the fans will blame the distributor, the marketing, the scheduling…ANYTHING but the fact that audiences simply don’t care about these niche-y fanboy affairs.

      • Matt

        But the fanboys care, Mark – no one is disputing that it didn’t do super-well in the ratings, but try checking it out. I literally just got around to it a few months ago, and I find it to be one of the funniest tv shows I have ever seen. The commercials spent too much time showcasing Buster, who is probably the least realistic character on the show.

      • TmasterREY

        there’s always money in the banana stand.

      • jbinminot

        I agree 100%. It was a great show but EW needs to stop acting like it’s the second coming of Jesus already.

      • Chris

        Mark. You forget several things. Fox buried the show on a night that perspectively went to cop dramas or dramas in general. They cancelled it in the second season, then with the fan’s clamoring for more did two more seasons. It was a fractured existence that NO shows to date has ever successfully recovered from.

        On Netflix it is one of the highest downloaded shows. It also has topped I-Tunes, Hulu and several other streaming sites. That mean someone likes it and it is becoming more popular as the word spreads.

        To say it was a mediocre show is not supported by the facts. The ratings where abysmal because they changed the day and time. This caused casual watchers or the general audience to loose interest. They thought the show had ended! EVERYONE involved has stated that it was (and will always be) something Fox is notorious for doing. You may believe the show was mediocre, yet every single actor/actress on that show is in high demand because of their tenure on Arrested Development.

      • J Walter Weatherman

        You’re high!

      • John

        Jeesus, the same ole arguments that the Serenity/Firefly fans put out: “The scheduing/tinkering killed it, people would have watched if there had been some consistency, the marketing killed it, blah blah blah” Woulda, coulda, shoulda. The thing is that if audiences had been interested, they would look for the shows and they would not have tanked. And sorry, but the numbers for Hulu, Itunes, downloads are minuscule, compared to what a TV show needs to actually succeed in Prime Time. Serenity also sold “well” on DVD, but it was preaching to the choir. These flop shows sell well during the first few weeks out on DVD or Itunes because fanboys are notorious frontloaders. But the reality is that AD will be another Serenity. Watch as it flops in thetares and once again, fanboys blame EVERYTHING and EVERYONE but the fact that audiences at large don’t care for these very insular, nichey shows.

      • Danny Boy

        Douche Chill!

      • cindy

        wait wait wait, if this show is coming back maybe the WIRE can too? oooooooohhhhhhh im all giddy!

    • wootie

      Look it be a reazin why dis dumb ish ain’t on da tee vee no mo bee cuz it suc cha dig

      • Curse

        lmao, seriously?

      • Moo

        I’m no grammar nazi, but are you TRYING to sound retarded?

    • Jenniferweb, Chicago, Il

      Another alternative for watching these shows is software services like TVDevo.com . I think it’s cloud-based. It offers a pretty wide range of TV shows and some live tv. Updates on each program restart.

      • Sam

        Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and watned to saythat I have really enjoyed reading your posts. In any caseI’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

    • Jenniferweb, Chicago, Il

      Another alternative for watching these shows is software services like TVDevo . I think it’s cloud-based. It offers a pretty wide range of TV shows and some live tv. Updates on each program restart.

      • Janelle

        Bonjour Me9lusine,Merci pour ce futur partage et suurott pour ce courage d’avoir affronte9 tes peurs et des reaves. La vie m’apprend que nos souvenirs, modestement, restent suurott important pour nous meame et que la mort nous les effacent. Parfois ils subsistent e0 travers le temps, mais le plus important c’est l’influence qu’ils auront sur nous et donc sur notre regard toute notre vie, et c’est suurott e7a qui fera partie de ce que tu transmettras e0 tes proches. Ne l’oublie jamais. Chaque geste, chaque expe9rience, peut finir par briller dans la nuit, meame si tout le monde ne le verra pas.Certains diront que ce que tu as fait est extraordinaire, moi j’aime e0 penser que c’est que qui t’a pousse9 e0 le faire qui est extraordinaire.Que ta vie continue e0 te faire vibrer, c’est tout ce que je te souhaite.Avec les amitie9s d’un papa (Belge) de 2 filles certes moins aventureuses mais tout aussi merveilleuses.PS: Qui sait un jour nous nous croiseront peut-eatre sur les routes.

    • Muhammad

      Pour avoir changer il y a 1 ou 2 mois de t?l?phone je te codprenms tr?s bien. Personnellement j’ai opt? pour un Sony Ericsson T610 : Ecran couleur, l?g?, simple d’utilisation, Bluetooth, photo (mais juste pour le gadget car la qualit? est merdique). J’en suis content, et il m’a cout? la somme affolante de 9? en renouvellemnt chez SFR

  • gato

    Cant wait!

    • Sam J

      “No, Michael, that’s not my trick. It’s my illusion.”

      ~ Gob Bluth II

      • Roma

        Love AD and I’d happily crawl through the doggie door for more eps; this is awesome news.

  • Roger C.

    Nobody liked watching this show except for hipsters and dorks who thought it was cool. They screamed the most on the internet like spoiled children and now they’ve won, only because Netflix is desperate. This is going to be one heck of a wreck. It’s been almost a decade. This isn’t going to be pretty.

    • Tobias

      douche chill

      • Krys

        lmao!

      • livingartistlife

        Fantastic blog article. I’m irsmepsed with the idea of using QR Codes to give cell phone coupons to customers is the coolest idea ever! How does that work? Do they just show the cashier? Trying to wrap my head around all this, but it’s fun! Gotta get busy with this

    • Kane

      Cool story bro.

    • Blonde South

      The show ended in 2006. That was only 5 years ago. Not almost a decade ago. Just sayin.

    • Dave

      Then don’t watch it. No one really cares.

    • Mark

      Didn’t know you talked to everyone, Roger C! How fortunate we are to have such a knowledgeable person to show us the way, that your g opinions are ‘facts’ and that no one should have opinions different than yours. Thank you …

    • lisa

      I think the show blows.. just saying

      • Wade

        Then you’re not paying attention.

      • Jackson

        I think you are dumb… just saying.

      • Gunky

        I think your I.Q. blows. Just sayin’.

      • MikeJ

        Mr F

      • YES

        ^ This. ^

      • LS

        Like the guy in 6300 suit would care what you have to say. COME ON

    • Chris

      I understand if it moved too quick for you. May I suggest something more your speed. Like Sesame Street.

      • Gunky

        I was thinking they might be somewhat more of a “Dancing With The Stars” aficionado…

      • TmasterREY

        i think you just blue yourself

    • Raz

      “The rubes don’t get it.”

    • isis

      as a recovering hipster, I resemble that remark. Sadly,
      now am just a dork who still likes Arrested Development.
      If you’ll just be clearer about who doesn’t find this sho funny, (i.e. deadheads, yuppie wall streeters, internet marketers, rapping poseurs, Kardashian worshippers),
      will attempt to join one of these demographics after further therapy. Thx for the insight and warmth, Mr. C

    • Jason

      Roger C.’s not on board.

      • Nick

        BEES?!?!

      • lois

        If Roger C. is not on board, I am not on board. Roger, do you guys know where I could get one of those gold T-shaped pendants?

      • Capt. Obvious

        No, Nick. BEADS!

      • Miss Pettygrew

        you mean a cross.

      • Danny Boy

        Bracelets.

      • Trisha

        a cross? a cross form what?

    • Jeff

      I’m guessing you’ve never actually watched the show…

    • Guy with an opinion

      It was a smart comedy show.

    • Bob Loblaw

      I wonder which one I am – a hipster or a dork? Actually, I prefer “hipster doofus.”

      • Gunky

        You should post that question on your Law Blog. But not before you lob a Law Bomb.

      • Capt. Obvious

        Good luck trying to get your mouth around THAT!

      • Danny Boy

        You sir, are a mouth full.

    • PJ

      You’re wrong Roger. Sorry

    • C regoR

      Marry Me!

    • Sara

      Sir, if yopu haven’t noticed these dorks and hipsters have pretty much taken over the market. It makes sense that the industry would cater to them. As for saying that “NO ONE” else liked that movies is a brash overstatement. I serve as Exhibit A.

      The studios wouldn’t go through with the project if they didn’t believe there was some modicum of success that could come from it. The fanbase has only been growing since 2006 (I am also proof of this). That, partenered with the fact that Bateman and Cera are now big stars all leads to the conclusion that this may in fact be a success.

      • Agbonifo

        Great, thanks for sinhrag this blog post. I’m impressed with the idea of using text messaging to send cell phone coupons to customers is the coolest idea ever! How does that work? Do they just show the cashier? Struggling a bit to get my head around all this, but it’s so exciting!

    • Jury

      Haters gonna hate

    • J Walter Weatherman

      Roger C is a Mr.F

    • alan of montreal

      Actually, only intelligent people loved Arrested Development. The stupids went for Two and a Half Men

    • jj

      it’s fine if you don’t like the show (why. i don’t know. maybe you don’t like humor?). but LOTS of people do. what is weird is you (and others like you) who feel that the only reason to make something is if it gets 10 million viewers per ep. if the producers think it’s financially viable enough for them to make it, then why should you poo poo it? the amt of profit they make is THEIR concern, not yours. your only concern is if you watch the show/movies or not. your choice. i, for one, will be waiting with bated breath! love, love, love this show! (and firefly/serenity wasn’t a bad show if you like sci fi-ish shows. if you don’t, you really can’t give it an objective crtitique in the first place. point is: noone is forcing you to like things you dont like. so chill the ef out.

    • wootie

      Aye looka heya roger beez no’in what he be tawkin bout

  • Judge

    my name is Judge

    • Talking Magazine

      What kind of name is that, MAGAZINE?

  • Tony

    did somebody say wonder?

  • Blonde South

    I just blue myself.

    • tracy bluth

      There’s got to be a better way to say that.

      • Gunky

        You should carry around a recorder all day, then listen to it and see if anything seems wrong…

      • Capt. Obvious

        I tried that . . . and I ended up prematurely shooting my wad on what was supposed to be a dry run, and now I have something of a mess on my hands!

    • Danny Boy

      So many poorly chosen words.

  • Jeffrey

    Sounds like the start of a plan. Select series cancelled by Fox and give them new life on Showtime and Netflix. Time to call Nathan Fillion and get the gang together again for Firefly!

    • Molly

      This

    • Jube

      more firefly!

    • Danny Pudi`s real brother

      Six seasons and a movie!

      • T

        ha! awesome!

    • Koz

      It’s been years, but didn’t the Serenity movie wrap pretty much everything up with FireFly already?

  • Matt

    The producers are*

  • Jose

    Interesting, a TV channel and a movie studio working together. Hopefully it’ll work instead of tank like The Dark Tower movies.

  • Bryce

    swoop me!

    • Jeremy

      To the nuts!

      The bridge mix! The bridge mix! You fool!

      • J Walter Weatherman

        “Look at me! I pinned the army man!

  • Garret

    Come on!

  • Glenn Croston

    Do you like magic?

    • PennyBeGood

      No… I LOVE magic.

  • D

    Hadn’t heard about the Netflix angle… I was hoping for network TV.

    • Jose

      Me too, now I’m going to have to get a subscrption to one of them

  • tracy bluth

    This would be the greatest thing ever! If Showtime passes on this, it’s their loss. It’s THEIR loss!!

  • lexie

    To the nuts!

    • Eric

      No, the bridge mix! The bridge mix!

      • PennyBeGood

        Hm. Sounds like a stupid hire.

      • J Walter Weatherman

        Not higher! Eye level! Eye level!

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