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Save Arrested Development

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Fox is apparently at it again, this time in a move that leaves little doubt that Arrested Development’s head is on the chopping block.

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Fox Broadcasting Co. plans to shuffle its Sunday comedy lineup in May to make room for the addition of new cartoon “American Dad” on May 1.

As part of the schedule change, the network has opted to reduce the episode order on the Emmy-winning ratings laggard “Arrested Development,” but the specifics still are being worked out.

As of May 1, “American Dad” will slide into “Arrested’s” 8:30 p.m. slot behind “The Simpsons.” For the first three weeks of the month, “Dad” will be followed at 9 p.m. by another original “Simpsons” episode.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Seasons don’t just get shortened – it is almost always the death knell for a series. What can you do to save the best show on TV? Here are some options:

Sign the petition. Anyone know if these things even work? Probably a long shot, but it’s worth a try.

Better yet, send some words . . .

Gail Berman
Fox Broadcasting Entertainment President
Fox Headquarters
10201 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA


Gail Berman, President
Fox Broadcasting Company
P.O. Box 900
Beverly Hills, California

E-mail: gail.berman@fox.com

Extension: 237626

Fox’s Viewer Comment Hotline: 1-800-369-6848

Even better: how about getting everyone you know to watch the show?


I emailed the link above and received this reply:

Dear Arrested Development Fans:

Thank you for your e-mail and your passionate support of Arrested Development. While the show has finished production for its second season, contrary to the rumors you may have heard or read on the internet, it is NOT cancelled.

We at FOX love Arrested Development and we look forward to having the Bluth family back on FOX in the future – hopefully for many years. You can help make the show a bigger success by getting as many people as possible to start watching the show this Sunday and every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.


Fox Broadcasting Company

Let’s hope this is true.

(In the meantime, check out the beautiful lull. It’s free.)

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About Tom Johnson

  • Lorraine

    Funniest show since Seinfeld. This is the spawn of Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld and LOVE Arrested Development. I bought the 1st and 2nd season for my friend so I could brainwash him into loving the show as much as me.

  • I’d mourn arrested develelopment if the show had been even vaguely amusing. it was almost as unfunny as the hideous archie bunker rehash they replaced it with.

  • mia

    I love AD and plan to do my part to let Fox know that the show has a lot of fan support, however your suggestion to “get everyone you know to watch the show” doesn’t really work or help. It’s the Nielson Ratings families that we need to convince to flip the channel. Sadly, they’re content with watching “Trading Spouses : Meet Your New Mommy”. For shame.

  • Beth Hurley

    Arrested Development is the highlight of my week. Each character is hilarious in their own way. THe humor is I believe too quick for the average american who would rather watch reality tv shows such as “biggest loser.”

  • Do you love Arrested Development as much as I do? Well, Save-it-Forward!

    I’ve come up with a very unique strategy to save this show and I need everyone’s help.

    It’s called Save-it-Forward and it’s my attempt to centralize, monitor and expand the movement and fanbase.

    Please go to http://www.saveitforward.comfor all the details.

    Do what you can to get this ball rolling. It will work if executed properly – I’ve bought four copies of AD!

    Spread the word everywhere you can, email the magazines (it is newsworthy), link to the site and tell your friends. Believe me, it can work!

    And if Fox is listening, embrace the grassroots movement..help me! It only benefits you and costs you nothing plus it’s free advertising. I want to save this show…period.

    Come on people, embrace the concept – get out there and Save-It-Forward!!! It’s easy!

  • “Snap” — always nice to see

  • “And you probably thought that MASH and Happy Days were funny, Scott.”

    I think you’re funny Dave.

    Funny looking!

    Oh snap…

  • Jade – I agree that Arrested Development and The Office are two of the best comedies put out anywhere over the last five or so years, but I think they couldn’t be more different. The Office is awkwardly, painfully, dreadfully real in its humor, whereas AD is adsurdly funny, its characters are clearly off-kilter, eccentric, or out-and-out mad. In fact, Bateman’s character (and perhaps the kids) is the only nearly sane character on the show. And he (Bateman) really holds things together — I think he’s flat-out great on that show.

  • i haven’t watched as much of Arrested Development as i’d like, but what i have seen is damn funny. Now, whilst i am admittedly a sucker for comedy, so will watch shows i know aren’t all that funny, just to find a few laughs, Arrested Development really is pretty clever. It’s like a little more refined version of The Office, well at least in as much as the focus isn’t on the most outrageous characters.

  • LarryDavidIsTheFunniestManonTV

    “We’re talking about television you don’t pay for here, “Larry.” I can’t afford cable AND paying for HBO, nor can I afford to pick up DVD sets for shows I’ve never watched. Let’s keep the conversation to commercial television, please.”

    You can rent seasons 1, 2, and 3 of Curb Your Enthusiasm at your local Blockbuster, or via Netflix. It’s worth the effort buddy.

  • Are you talking about David Cross? “Repressed homosexual” if your own conclusion there.

    And yeah, he’s fairly brilliant, and a pretty good comedian to boot.

  • I actually find the repressed homosexual brother in law mildly amusing, for what it’s worth.


  • To each he/she own.

  • Interesting. I just find Buster irritating.


  • Here’s my take on Arrested Development, pulled from my recently installed TV column:

    Keeps right on being the best comedy on television today. And I must say that Buster Bluth continues to emerge as one of the strangest, funniest, loopiest characters in television history. The idea to have his hand eaten by flesh-thirsty seals was inspired, as were the constant hindrances that prevented him from joining the army to get shipped off to Iraq: overcoming his fear of the ocean (see: hand eaten by seals), and one of my favorite bits of all-time, from earlier this season, the crane game at the bus station. Ah, glorious. But it’s really Buster’s bizarro mannerisms and awkward, mommy-obsessed demeanor that make him such a pleasure to watch.

  • Tom:

    I’m desperate for a good comedy on TV and haven’t seen any except for Scrubs in a long, long time. So I’d really like to find Arrested Development funny, and I check in here just to see what people are saying. This encourages me about the show, so I go and watch an episode and again am amazed at how unfunny the show is. It’s a kind of vicious cycle.

    I’d settle for Sitcom-funny, you know like Spin City or That 70s Show, where there are quirky characters and the occasional good line, but it’s basically mundane. But Arrested Development is clearly not trying for that kind of humor. It wants to be absurdist humor and while it is absurd, it’s not absurd in a funny way.

    But hey, if you enjoy it, that’s cool. I’ll keep an eye out for the next good show to come down the line.


  • Dave – Trust me in that I (and many others) are equally baffled by you and your taste(s).

  • Dave, usually when someone doesn’t like something, they just tend to ignore it and move on with their lives. You, however, seem to be incensed at the very existence of a show you proclaim to not care about. You continue to check this post and respond to comments about a show that you have repeatedly, and very loudly, announced that you do not like. This doesn’t strike you as a bit obsessive and, well, just plain weird? Get on with your life, dude. Seriously. This show will succeed or fail, and since you don’t care for it at all, it shouldn’t mean a damn thing to you either way. Get out of the house for a bit, get yourself a Thirstbuster and a Skor candy bar, or maybe a Watchamacallit, and just take a few minutes of “me time” for yourself. And then please, forget that Arrested Development exists. If it gets cancelled, you can throw a little party to revel in your superior intellect and have another delicious candy bar and soda of your choice. If it gets renewed, well, you may have to face the seemingly unbearable weight of the truth that other people have different tastes in what they find humorous. Harsh, I know!

  • And you probably thought that MASH and Happy Days were funny, Scott.


  • “Sorry, the show is just awful, and I suggest that if you think it’s funny, there’s something wrong with your standards for humor.”

    This actually explains alot about you Dave…

  • If they’re going to change it I’d recommend adding some actual humor to the show.

    I watched it today just to see if it’s as unfunny as I remembered, and it really isn’t funny at all. Just not one little bit. The few bits that might have been amusing were telegraphed so obviously that by the time they happened I’d already lost interest.

    Sorry, the show is just awful, and I suggest that if you think it’s funny, there’s something wrong with your standards for humor.


  • Tom – If AD got cancelled, the creators would try to move it somewhere that it could continue.

    And I don’t think the show would have to get changed much at all. There’s not a lot of bleeping anyway, as far as I can tell.

    Take for example the scene where Maybe is sitting by the pool, pounding Virgin Pina Coladas, saying, “Let’s get this party started.” That’s PG-rated hilarity for an adult audience, and brilliant at that.

  • Were AD to be picked up by HBO (and from what I read with the show’s creators, they have no intention of even making it available) I would hope they would keep the bleeping intact – that’s what makes the swearing funny, not the actual words but the bleeping itself. It’s far funnier to hear Buster bleeped out in one of his flurries of swearing than it would be to actually hear him swearing. That’s yet another reason why this is such a nuanced and intelligent show.

  • Arrested Development has the look, feel, and edge to make it on cable. I think it would be a home run for HBO to pick it up, should it be dropped by Fox.

  • If Arrested Development is dropped by Fox, you have to hope networks like HBO and Showtime are paying attention. Especially with the series finale of Sex in the City for HBO last year.. If a pay-network picked up Arrested Development, they could actually swear.

  • We’re talking about television you don’t pay for here, “Larry.” I can’t afford cable AND paying for HBO, nor can I afford to pick up DVD sets for shows I’ve never watched. Let’s keep the conversation to commercial television, please.

  • LarryDavidIsTheFunniestManonTV

    “The only other show that even comes close is Scrubs.”

    Ever seen Curb Your Enthusiasm? I guess not.

  • Eric Olsen

    mine is blue, the funniest of colors

  • “What is your favourite colour?”

    “Uh – blue?!”



  • Eric Olsen

    arguing about “funny” is like arguing about favorite colors

  • So why do I find Scrubs funny and not AD if they both make you laugh? IMO it’s because I find most of the actors in the show sufficiently irritating to outweigh the humor that may be in the scripts, particularly Jason Bateman.


  • Here’s where I state the obvious that those of you who don’t like this show should understand, but don’t: there are different types of senses of humor. You don’t “get” Arrested Development, plain and simple. I do, a lot of people do, in fact – as many as watch pretty much every other Fox show.

    . . . not very funny in the laughing sense.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. This is the one show that consistently CAN make me laugh out loud on a weekly basis, many times per episode. The only other show that even comes close is Scrubs. And when a series has not only a rabid fanbase but also as much critical acclaim as this one does, you have to prepare yourself that maybe you really are not “getting” this type of humor. Why you people seem to be on the offense about this show is bewildering. You don’t have to watch it. Its timeslot, were it to be cancelled, would likely be taken up by some inane crap you wouldn’t watch either. So why bother making a stink over a show about which you obviously don’t care?

  • Yes, Tom – very creative show. However, still generally not very funny in the laughing sense. Peculiar sometimes, but not funny.


  • Actually, Richard, it sounds like you don’t really “get” this type of humor at all. I have my doubts as to whether you’ve even seen much of the show at all. For starters, many episodes are peppered pretty liberally with pop-culture references (March 13’s episode is a perfect example – they were EVERYWHERE in this episode. If you missed them, you must not really have been watching.)

    The best thing about the show, however, is that it doesn’t have to rely on easy pop-culture references like nearly every other sitcom on TV. It’s packed with so many twists and turns that it just does not need to fill in empty time with references to pop-culture when it could instead reference something far funnier that has occured within the show itself.

    And as for the “shakey camera effect,” you’ve pretty much given away that you don’t actually watch this show. The whole idea of the show is that it’s a single-camera show, filmed as if it’s sort of a reality show about this family. References to this have been made in some episodes, such as a judge barring cameras from his courtroom, at which point the show’s camera was pushed out of the room. Of course, you actually have to WATCH the show to know this, but the apparent chip you carry on your shoulder about Sports Night and the Larry Sanders Show prevents you from doing so. It’s a shame, because I want people to watch the best show on TV too, but I have to admit that I’m happier not having people like you watching the show.

  • Richard Dun

    Arrested Development is a bad show. Its like Sports Night except without the pure story of Sports Night.

    Sure its different. But the fact of the matter is that the dad is still doing a Bill Kingsley thing. Why the hell is he doing his Larry Sanders role on a Ron show? I dont know why there are fans of the show. I’m a big fan of the director. But this show isnt smart at all. There’s no references to culture, literature or media. It’s like a fake reality tv show with Battle star galactica shakey camera effects…why would you need shakeycam on a soap?

    This show needs to be canned.

  • Steve

    That is so true Lucas. If not for the Blockbuster Movie Pass my family picked up, I would have never really thought to look at Arrested Development. But now that I have had the lifelong enjoyment of watching the first season, I’m totally convinced it is the funniest show on TV. I have the hardest time, however, getting any of my friends to sit down and watch it. Oh well, their loss until their lack of support makes it my loss if FOX unairs it.

  • Has there ever been such a powerful outpouring of support for a relatively new show like this? Amazing. Everyone I know who actually watches this show is up in arms. Regrettably, not many people I know watch it, despite my demands….

    Related post:

    When Sitcoms Make You Weep

  • Joe

    I thought that was “imi shimi pa pojida.”

  • dan

    Annyong is Korean for “Hello”

  • Lisa

    Arrested development is one of the smartest wittiest shows in the history of television. If FOX cancels this show it will truly be a travesty and prove once and for all that most Americans are way too dumb to appreciate true brilliance.

  • The paper company in Slough is a reference to “The Office”, the English mockumentary comedy that the cast and crew of Arrested love. It’s not Office Space.

    Arrested is too good for American broadcast TV. I’d lovingly welcome it to HBO.

  • Glad to see the letter that suggests it will stick around, but I don’t trust Fox worth a damn. Not after Firefly, Wonderfalls, The Tick, Action and so on. But the letter does still ease my mind a bit.

    I hate that they’re shortening the season for American Dad, though. I love Family Guy, but American Dad is not nearly as good and it’s nowhere near Arrested Development. I’m planning on watching the show and I hope it finds its legs, but why can’t they just let Arreseted Development run through sweeps and then start American Dad? Or, better yet, just run American Dad and Arrested Development? Bastards.

    Arrested Development better not go away after this season.

  • Hogwash and ballycock? Those are pretty strong words.

    I have to disagree about Ray – maybe “everyone” doesn’t love Ray, but I think he’s got a lock on presenting the frustrations of the “everyman.” It’s a simple show, but it’s quality writing for the most part, and I think it’s admirable of the creators to bow out while the show is still good. I’ll miss it, but it’ll be on in reruns for years to come. And certainly we’ll see a spinoff for the character of Robert in a year or two.

  • jobert

    hogwash and ballycock, if Americans are smart enough to get such genius, postmodern and highly referential writing such as the Simpsons, particularly seasons 4-6 (google subtly simpsons if you want concrete proof), and the absurdity and quirkiness of Family Guy, why can’t they “get” Arrested Development? The Daily Show and Conan O Brien, admittedly more traditional – are also different from the pandering goofiness of Ray Romano. I think Arrested is perfectly fine. Maybe it’s not as funny as we think or maybe it’s not promoted enough.

    I’m canadian by the way.

  • To me, Arrested Development absolutely anchors Sunday nights. I used to be devout about the Simpsons, but after 15 years it is loosing it’s satircal sheen. Sadly, unless you own a Neilson box, watching it won’t help. We have to get out there and be visible.

    I signed the online petition, it’s the same one I signed year ago when we had this same worry. I also e mailed Gail Berman.

    My parting thoughts, American Dad was very obviously a poor man’s Family Guy. It even consisted of the same voice actors. It will be gone this time next year, but so to probably will be Arrested Development. fuckers.

  • Kim

    if it makes anyone feel any better, there was a petition to save the show “Ed” that was on NBC and it did work to keep the show on the air for another year….maybe “Arrested” can find an audience by then…..

    It’s really a shame because it’s a great show and unfortunately, you’re right….it IS to smart for most Americans…..sad.

  • Thanks Joe, consider it fixed.

  • Joe

    That’s good to hear, Tom. If you get a chance to edit again, there’s a typo in the link to your blog.

  • I’ve received a reply to my email to Gail Berman. See my edited post above for the details.

  • Jim: you’re right, now that you mention it I forgot about the “annyong.” Good connection – I was think that the male Korean understood English last night when he was asking his wife what was going on, like he was hinting that he knew she knew English. The “annyong” thing makes that make even more sense . . . Look at that, a connection between the two best shows on TV right now.

  • Here’s the Onion article.

    While I’m disappointed “Arrested Development” hasn’t done better in ratings, it is still better than almost everything else on Fox or any of the other ‘nets, and the show will still be funny and relevant years from now. The best trick the show has is that each episode seems like it is part of a continuum, but in reality, each stands on its own, especially with the fake “on the next Arrested Development …”.

    I’d rather have only 40 some odd eps of “Arrested Development” than any of “Everybody Loves Raymond” or “According to Jim”.

  • The Office Space reference was that Lucy’s dad was going to buy a paper company in Slough. The AD was when Charlie was hiking to the caves with the Korean Jin, before they got attacked by Ethan-with-a-slingshot and said a couple times, “annyoung” (????) (who is the Korean adoptee in AD, which isn’t his name, but “hello”, and there is the whole question in Lost do the two Koreans understand English), and in AD it turns out he does understand English).

    I think I watch too much teevee.

  • Jim, I must have missed that shout-out. I did catch the Office one (the girl’s dad worked in a “paper company in Slough.”) What was it?

    How can people not like a show like this, where they can get away with a line like this from the seemingly-gay-but-straight-and-married Tobias: “I’ll be your wingman. If I have to take a chubby, I’ll suck it up.”

    Let’s hope this is just a really nasty way to drum up support for the show – it is sweeps time again, afterall.

  • “Arrested Development” did get a shout-out this week on “Lost”, and there’s an interview in this week’s Onion AV Club.

    But given the blunt force trauma which is “American Dad” (makes “Man getting hit with a football” look like satiric genius) and the continued, stubborn refusal of “Arrested Development” to pander, what can you do?

    Maybe good things come in small packages. Chances are that you will still be able to watch two seasons of “Arrested Development” on DVD in ten years, just like you can watch “Fawlty Towers” now.

  • sharedferret

    Damn you FOX! You’ve killed yet another amazing show!

  • Joe


  • Eric Olsen

    agree, it may be just too creative, really a shame. Fox does a great job of bringing super shows in, but then never seems to support them

  • Dawn

    Arrested Development is one of the funniest comedies on T.V. – sharp humour, brilliant writing, great acting.

    In fact, it’s too smart for most Americans.

    On that note, it doesn’t have much chance of making it.

  • I’m pretty sure Arrested Development leaves American Dad in the dust, humor wise, especially based on the overwhelmingly underwhelmed reviews I’ve been seeing of it.

  • Saw American Dad. Nice job of satire. The first episode, they put in a reference to CBS.