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Microsoft announces slate of original TV programming

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Microsoft’s joining the TV game with a slate of original shows specifically made for the Xbox.

Although Microsoft’s been in talks to get into the original video content game for a year now, the company is just now announcing its twelve shows, dubbed Xbox Originals. Ranging from unscripted comedies to game-based dramas, the shows are expected to begin airing this June.

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'Arrested Development': Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat reveal what's in store for Maeby and George Michael

Theirs was a forbidden relationship. They were cousins, and dangerous ones at that. Their time together was fun and sexy, yes, but also complicated and confusing. They were the youngest members of the Bluth family: the sincere, perpetually flustered George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera) and rebellious, attention-seeking Maeby Fünke (Alia Shawkat). And now fates — and  fan demand — have thrown these two kissing cousins together again: Arrested Development returns on May 26 after a seven-year absence with 15 new episodes on Netflix. How did this highly regarded but low-rated twisted family comedy wind up back on the screen? That story is here. But maybe, if not surely, you are also interested in reading some bonus quotes from Cera and Shakwat, who discuss the new season, their characters and more. READ FULL STORY

'Arrested Development': Inside the cult comedy's comeback

Arrested Development’s journey back to the screen has been long and unpredictable. It has taken many turns, involved the use of many birds. And on this December evening, it has banked a hard right onto a ­Hollywood side street and pit-stopped in a magic club on gay night.

Inside the gothic lounge of mystery, patrons in leopard vests, Army fatigues, and assless pants groove about. Near the bar, series creator Mitchell Hurwitz studies Will Arnett and Michael Cera as they rehearse a scene that will play out in multiple episodes: Decked out in leather and chains, Arnett’s sleazy-cheesy illusionist Gob Bluth has lured his innocent-faced nephew, George Michael (Cera), here under false pretenses (naturally). He busts a move on a flustered George Michael and shouts, “Ow! You bit my lip!” before apologetically whispering to him: “Hey, thanks a lot. I owe you big-time. Not a lot of nephews would do this.” Loud, so the crowd can hear: “Now get out of here! I never want to sleep with you again!” Whispering: “I do. I would sleep with you, George Michael… I mean, I probably won’t…”

In between takes, Hurwitz offers ­scientific pointers like “When you say ‘hot little ass,’ put your hand here,” then scoots behind the monitors to survey the action. “This may be the creepiest thing we’ve done so far,” he observes.

With take after absurd take under his leather-daddy belt, Arnett catches a breather. “I did some disturbing things tonight,” he says. “I kissed Michael Cera no fewer than eight times.”

And how was it?

“It felt like… coming home.”

After an absence of seven years, three months, and 16 days, Arrested Development will give fans who prayed for its return the mother(boy) of all gifts on May 26: Fifteen new episodes will be released all at once on Netflix. Designed as a prequel for a not-yet-greenlit movie, these installments have been the source of great anticipation and speculation since Net­flix announced the show’s resurrection 17 months ago. Our hearts and minds and Twitter feeds are about to tell us whether the wait for this moment of Bluth was indeed worth it. READ FULL STORY

'Arrested Development': The writers' room was like a 'psycho killer's apartment'

Bringing back a show from the dead is no easy task. Especially when that show is Arrested Development. The highly revered cult comedy returns with 15 new episodes that will be released simultaneously on May 26 on Netflix, and it’s fair to say that a lot of care and thought (and more thought) went into them. Series creator Mitchell Hurwitz and his writers did not structure the episodes like typical Arrested installments: In telling the tale of what has happened to the splintered family over the last seven years, each episode will focus on one of the nine main characters, with a few other Bluths making an appearance. The episodes are crafted to work as a whole — the first act of a larger saga that is designed to play out on the big-screen –  and certain jokes and stories that are planted in one show bloom in another. “There’s never been a half-hour comedy with the level of complexity here,” says Troy Miller, who directed the episodes with Hurwitz. “The idea of how characters interrelate and the episodic arcs in A, B, C, D, and E story lines — it’s this crazy wormhole he’s created.” Several people in the Arrested family colorfully described their first visit to the writers’ room, but our favorite may come courtesy of David Cross. READ FULL STORY

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