Original series created by Mitchell Hurwitz (2003)
Set in Newport Beach, California, Arrested Development follows the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy and habitually dysfunctional family. The show originated in 2002, when producer Ron Howard had the idea to create a comedy series in the style of reality television. At the time, recent corporate accounting scandals, such as Enron and Adelphia, were happening in the news and it was creator Mitchell Hurwitz who suggested a story about a “riches to rags” family.
The plot of Arrested Development revolves around the members of the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy family who found themselves suddenly on budgets after the family patriarch is nabbed for more than a few accounting scandals. The rest of the family leads extravagant lifestyles they can’t seem to give up, while the man at the center of the show, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), is the one who strives to do the right thing and keep his family together. Early in the series, a lot of the family assets are repossessed except for the Bluth family airport stair car, which becomes one of the only modes of transportation the family retains.
Despite acclaim from critics, Arrested Development received low ratings and viewership on Fox, which canceled the series in 2006. As Hurwitz explained, “I had taken it as far as I felt I could as a series. I told the story I wanted to tell, and we were getting to a point where I think a lot of the actors were ready to move on.”He said that he was “more worried about letting down the fans in terms of the quality of the show dropping” than he was about disappointing fans by not giving them more episodes. Rumors of an additional season and a feature film persisted until 2011, when Netflix agreed to license new episodes and distribute them exclusively.
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