Arrested Development Goes Out Crazy

Arrested DevelopmentBye, bye Bluths. The season and quite likely series finished up last night like they started – fast-paced, quick-witted and outrageous to the end.

It was billed only as the season finale, and Fox hasn’t officially cancelled the comedy, but the chances of the show cheating an early TV death are slim. What seems certain is its time on Fox has come to an end. The network burned off the last four episodes, back-to-back against the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, making room on its usual Monday slot for the inane Skating with Celebrities. Clearly there’s not much love lost.

While there is a glimmer of hope that Arrested Development could be revived on the U.S. cable network Showtime or, even less likely, on ABC, it appears destined to top the list of shows cancelled before its time, including Action, My So Called Life, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Futurama, Sports Night, among others.

I’m not doing well this season, as the networks keep shelving my favourites. Fox has put Prison Break in solitary confinement for so long I don’t know if I’ll recognize it when it gets out. Invasion is being put on the sidelines during March, just as the tension is building up to a fever pitch – there’s nothing like a month-long break to cool off a hot show. While Commander in Chief has not been must-see TV for me, I watched it whenever I came across it, but now that it is also in purgatory its ratings decline will likely become a self-fulfilling prophecy for the network.

Its not just semi-established shows that are suffering the vagaries of network programmers. Love Monkey, starring Canadians Tom Cavanagh and Jason Priestly, has been caged after just three episodes. I didn’t even get a chance to see it, let alone have time to cast judgment on it. Thee episodes! How do you build an audience in that time? I’d already had one friend tell me to check it out, perhaps indicating that there was word-of-mouth buzz growing, and it was even averaging 8.1 million viewers an episode, almost twice what Arrested was getting this season. There is just no patience anymore.


  1. Add 'Firefly' to that list of quality shows butchered by FOX. I don't understand why a network that specializes in catering to the lowest common demoninator of American society insists on picking up intelligent shows that not only do its viewers not understand, clearly its executives don't understand either. Take my advice, FOX. Stick to Survivor, The Bachelor, and Blind Date. It's what you're good at.

  2. Fox has always been such a paradox -- willing to commision and program cutting edge shows, and then abandoning them. It must be such a mixed blessing when you hear you've been picked up by Fox. They have killed off more cool shows than most other networks have broadcast. Glass half full I suppose.

    And glad you found me here Paul, now that I'm off the AOL grid.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more, Commander And Chief was a weekly TiVoed show for me as is Invasion not to mention already canceled Night Stalker. It seems like cable really has the big three running scared. I don't know maybe they should consider standing by a show and letting it generate an audience like NBC did when Grant Tinker was head. I can only imagine what the 80's legacy would have been like with these hack heavy programers in charge. Hell Cheers wouldn't make it past the first season if it aired now days.