Arrested Development: The show that can’t be cancelled


Arrested Development is returning for a fifth series next year.

The cult US TV show first aired nearly 15 years ago but was cancelled in 2006 after getting poor ratings.

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It continued to find fans online, though, and after a seven year hiatus it was revived in 2013 as the first comedy Netflix ever made.

There were then four more years of silence from the show’s creators – until now. Here are some of the reasons it keeps coming back.

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Critics have called it the ‘greatest sitcom ever’

Yes, really. Which is quite an achievement for a comedy that’s still never found mainstream popularity.

Despite struggling to attract viewers, Arrested Development has also been named by both Empire and Time Magazine as one of the best things to have ever been on TV.

It’s the story of a wealthy family who are wrapped up in a scandal and lose everything.

The show follows their attempts to live without money.

It helped launch the careers of some big stars

Michael Cera

You’re most likely to know Michael Cera from films like Superbad, Juno and Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

But before all these he’d perfected his bumbling, innocent act in Arrested Development. He was just 15 when he was cast as George Michael Bluth.

Jason Bateman plays George’s Michael’s dad – who, confusingly, is called Michael Bluth. He’s since become a Hollywood mainstay, in films like Horrible Bosses and Central Intelligence.

Jason Bateman

In fact, so many of the show’s stars went on to big things that when it was brought back in 2013 it was a struggle getting them in the same room at the same time.

This is thought to have forced producers into a not entirely popular style change – which meant each episode in series four followed an individual character.

It looks like this has been sorted for series five though. The show’s official Twitter account tweeted: “This time the Bluths are all together. Whether they like it or not.”

It’s ahead of the curve

The car from Arrested Development

The US remake of House of Cards was the only show on Netflix’s books when it got involved with Arrested Development.

Back in 2013, the company was known for streaming movies and sending DVDs in the post – not for producing original content.

There were even raised eyebrows about all fifteen new episodes of series four being released simultaneously.

“Don’t feel obligated to watch it all at once,” creator Mitch Hurwitz warned fans, “It’s a comedy! It’s not like Lord of the Rings. Comedy takes a lot out of you.”

It’s moving with the times

The cast of Arrested Development

Arrested Development has always been highly political – with jokes directed at the elite in America.

It doesn’t look like that’s changing this time around. The show’s creator has already taken a dig at US President Donald Trump.

“We all felt that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business – and their desperate abuses of power – are really under-represented on TV these days,” Mitchell Hurwitz says.

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