29 March 2006

No suprise here: FOX cancels Arrested Development

from the Futon Critic:

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- 20th Century Fox Television has confirmed its Emmy-winning comedy "Arrested Development" won't be returning for a fourth season, for now anyway.

"While there are no plans to resume production at this time, we know all too well from our experience with 'Family Guy' -- another brilliant comedy which didn't find its audience in its first network run -- that anything is possible," the studio said in a statement to the press. "We'll always be a little hopeful that this is not quite the end for this amazing show."

The news comes just two days after creator Mitch Hurwitz told Daily Variety he'd passed on being involved with a potential revival at Showtime. "The fans have been so ardent in their devotion and in return... I've given everything I can to the show in order to try to live up to their expectations," he said to the trade paper on Monday. "I finally reached a point where I felt I couldn't continue to deliver that on a weekly basis... Of course, if there was enough money in it, I would have happily abandoned the fans' need for quality. But as it turns out, there wasn't."

The oft-mentioned Showtime offer had been contingent on Hurwitz remaining on board as showrunner.

The 20th statement confirmed the decision, saying he "expressed his desire to move on from 'Arrested Development,' and we accept his decision... [We're] grateful for the incredible passion which the fans and the critics have shown it from the beginning."


This is a sad notice, indeed. But there is something the major networks don't understand, and refuse to even consider: that the viewers they seek, the 12 to 24, are not appointment bound TV viewers. They're playing video games. They don't care about what's on.

Dick Wolf, the creator of the Law & Order franchise is right: the networks have to create shows with content that the 25 and up are actually watching. These are the real viewers, the real appointment bound watcher.

While American Idol garners in high ratings, the only reason it does is because viewers vote for who goes and who stays. Take that away, and Idol would be a bore. The broadcast networks would rather develope a TV show featuring the Pussycat Dolls than keep a brilliant show that was Arrested Development.

And the broadcast networks will continue face an erosion in viewers until they realize this. As a big fan of TV, I've lost interest in it, if only because I can no longer feel there is anything worth watching, beyond just a handful of shows.

Keep thinking teenage boys are watching and buying the crap that is advertised. Sure, girls are watching, but they too are not beyond being bored with the crap the networks foist on us.

More meat to the stories and less Easter Peep shows. And, please, no more CSI or Law & Order. Something orginal, please. And something smart.

Like Arrested Development.

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