Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Mitch Hurwitz Explains Why 'Arrested Development' Didn't Jump to Showtime When Fox Canceled It in 2006

Way back in 2006, when Fox canceled Arrested Development, the press reported that Showtime had made an offer to continue the show but that creator Mitch Hurwitz has turned it down. Now, talking yesterday at Netflix's presentation for television critics, Hurwitz shed some light on why he said no:

Well, at the time, you have to remember that we were not successful. The Showtime offer, as it was presented to me, was half the money for half the show. I was not interested, at that point, in doing a smaller cast and a more simplified Arrested Development. I felt like I would lose the one thing we had, which was the devotion of the fans. It seemed like there was a Showtime offer and Mitch said no. In fact, it was, "Would you do a version of the show with less budget and less everything else?" And it just didn't make sense, at the time… Obviously, we couldn't have had a show with nine expensive actors in it. It was very nice that they were even interested in doing that. But, I was so proud of what we’d done that I couldn't think of a compelling reason to do a lesser version of it.

So, there you have it. Hurwitz turned the offer down because they wanted to reduce the cast, which definitely seems like a good move, even though it would have continued the show right after it ended its Fox run. Seems strange that he's changing his tune now, what with this new run of Netflix episodes not featuring the whole cast in each episode, but hey, I'll take more episodes of this show any way we can get them.

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  • brijazz012

    Hmmm. So, instead we're getting episodes with small casts. And I can only assume that the budget is what even Showtime would have offered.

    I'm not complaining, it just seems like the reasoning for declining Showtime flies in the face of what's happening with Netflix. But then, maybe Showtime wouldn't go for the structure that Netflix is OK with.

    • http://twitter.com/doggans doggans

      It sounds to me like Showtime wanted to PERMANENTLY reduce the cast–ie, no more Lucille, Tobias and Buster on the show ever, or something like that. This way, we still get the full cast, even if they're not in EVERY single episode.

  • Darrin13

    I don't see how he's "changing his tune" at all. With this new Netflix deal, the reason that the entire cast isn't in every episode is simply because many of them have commitments to other projects and aren't contractually available to be series regulars on other shows. With this deal, he IS getting the entire cast, just not all at the same time, and as he has said elsewhere – if you watch all the episodes in a row, it will be like getting an expanded version of the original show.