The internet exploded with excitement late on Sunday night as news began to break of a brand new series of cult US sitcom Arrested Development and the confirmation of the much touted AD feature length film. The movie has been discussed for some time (as soon as the show was taken off air in fact) but the possibility of a new series was a total bolt from the blue.
Announced at an Arrested Development reunion, it’s believed that the new series will feature 10 episodes, written with one episode focusing on each character in the run up to the film. The show famously had its seasons cut short on two occasions, from an initial 22 episodes in Series 1 to 18 in Series 2, while Series 3 featured only 13 episodes. It was a move that prompted blatant in-jokes from the show’s writers (see Save Our Bluths), anger from the fans and some particularly choice words from the shows stars (not least comedian David Cross aka Tobias Funke).
It should be noted that AD’s ‘old’ TV network, FOX, has previous in the department of taking back shows whose viewing figures (and therefore profit making) initially failed to match up to their exceptional critical and fan reactions. Futurama being an example of a show resurrected through fan pressure, however FOX’s involvement has yet to be confirmed.
On the whole this is great news. Arrested Development has been one of my favourite comedies and has been one of the best sitcoms of the last 10 years, if not of all time. For those reasons, while I’m personally very excited that such a fantastic comedy gets another chance, you can’t help but feel a little protective over it. The TV series-turned-movie can be a risky and often poorly executed cash-in, but given the consistently excellent writing of the TV series and the cast involved I’m sure those minor fears will be nothing more than that.