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TV Column
Posted at 06:24 PM ET, 10/03/2011

Mitch Hurwitz games press — again — on “Arrested Development” future


Jason Bateman (L) and Will Arnett attend The 2011 New Yorker Festival: "Arrested Development" Panel. (Neilson Barnard - GETTY IMAGES FOR THE NEW YORKER)
You know how some women have affairs with married men that drag on for years because the women believe the guys when they swear, every year, they’re going to dump their wives and marry them?

Five years after the cancellation of “Arrested Development,” its creator, Mitch Hurwitz, is still promising fans he is going to resuscitate the franchise as a movie.

Over the weekend, he dangled another diamond bracelet in front of their eager eyes: the possibility he would create more episodes of the series as a walk-up to the movie.

Here’s what Hurwitz actually said Sunday at a New Yorker Festival Q&A session with “Arrested” cast and crew:

a) He is working on the movie screenplay;

b) He has decided he should write another 10-ish episodes of the series to set the stage for the movie;

c) He does not own the franchise, and it is not up to him whether either gets made;

d) He is “80 percent of the way to an answer” on the movie. Notice he did not say he was 80 percent of the way to getting the movie greenlit. An “answer,”of course, could be good news — or bad.

Whata Hurtwitz did NOT say at the confab was that:

a) Any studio had agreed to make the movie;

b) Any studio had agreed to make the additional television episodes;

c) Any network had agreed to air the episodes.

Yet by Monday morning, it was being widely reported in the press that:●

●“ ‘Arrested Development’ new episode, movie confirmed.”

●“ ‘Arrested Development’ will return, with new episodes and a movie.”

●“The upcoming ‘Arrested Development’ movie and episodes: Best news ever or best news EVER?”


“Arrested Development” (Sam Urdank - AP)
And so on.

Those reports amused some at Fox, where “Arrested Development” was reluctantly canceled in 2006 after three seasons because its ratings were so lousy. Hurwitz is a very popular guy at Fox — suits there love listening to him talk about how he has periodically gamed gullible press regarding “Arrested Development, ” every once in a while, fanning the flames by planting a bogus story about the franchise’s comeback.

Remember back when you read all those press reports about how actor Michael Cera was the reason the movie was being held up, because he wanted too much money?

Pure horseradish, Hurwitz told the adoring crowd at the festival, and he claimed credit for having planting that item with “Arrested” obsessed “journalists.”

By  |  06:24 PM ET, 10/03/2011

 
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