More ahead for Bluths if TV cre­ator has his way

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Nel­son Wyatt

MON­TREAL — Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment cre­ator Mitchell Hur­witz isn’t fin­ished yet with the dys­func­tional Bluth fam­ily.

He’s not ex­actly sure what will hap­pen next, which is ap­pro­pri­ate for such an un­pre­dictable com­edy.

“We’re try­ing to fig­ure that out,” he said in an in­ter­view at the Just For Laughs com­edy fes­ti­val, where he ad­dressed mem­bers of the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

“The next thing that might hap­pen, it’s not wholly up to me, but I’d like to get the whole cast to­gether, do some sort of movie to fin­ish the story that we’ve told. We al­ready have the way that would go into an­other sea­son on Net­flix.”

The cur­rent sea­son was orig­i­nally con­ceived as a se­ries of we­bisodes, which even­tu­ally de­vel­oped into 15 shows of around 30 min­utes each. Hur­witz com­pared the way the story un­folds to the way a novel does — “one big story that will slowly come to­gether.”

Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment fol­lows the bum­bling Bluths, whose lev­els of self-ab­sorp­tion veer into the bizarre for rib-tick­ling re­sults.

It had a short, three-sea­son run on net­work tele­vi­sion be­fore be­ing can­celled in 2006 and re­placed by the largely now-for­got­ten Pamela An­der­son com­edy Stacked.

Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment, how­ever, had de­vel­oped a rabid and vo­cal fan fol­low­ing even if it didn’t im­me­di­ately trans­late into rat­ings. Other peo­ple en­gaged with the show on DVD and de­mands for more episodes fol­lowed.

It is one of the few in­stances of a show be­ing brought back from the dead be­cause of fan de­mand, the other most no­table re­cent ex­am­ple be­ing the crude cartoon The Fam­ily Guy, which was spurred by DVD sales.

Hur­witz said the cast is open to con­tin­u­ing the Bluths’ story.

“Ev­ery­body’s game,” he said. “It’s their show too. Ev­ery­body feels very pro­pri­etary about it and that’s a for­tune too, that I don’t have to feel that I’m ask­ing for a favour. It’s fun for all of us.”

In the mean­time, he said he be­lieved it is likely that 20th Cen­tury Fox will re­lease a DVD of the fourth sea­son.

“I’m go­ing to do some fun things to that,” said Hur­witz, who is re­ceiv­ing an award at the Mon­treal fes­ti­val as com­edy writer of the year.

Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment, which has been known for break­ing ground with its in­no­va­tive ways of telling its sto­ries, scored an­other in­no­va­tion re­cently when it and the Net­flix po­lit­i­cal drama House of Cards were nom­i­nated for Em­mys in ma­jor cat­e­gories.

It was the first time that’s hap­pened since web con­tent was al­lowed into con­tention in 2008.

Star Ja­son Bate­man, who plays hap­less Michael Bluth, was nom­i­nated for Out­stand­ing Lead Ac­tor in a Com­edy Se­ries. Other nom­i­na­tions are for out­stand­ing mu­sic com­po­si­tion and out­stand­ing sin­gle-cam­era edit­ing for a com­edy se­ries.

“We were so happy that Ja­son got ac­knowl­edged for his great work and re­ally that the Em­mys con­sid­ered Net­flix at all,” Hur­witz said, adding the pro­duc­tion isn’t in it for the awards.

“We’re do­ing it for the fans.”

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