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"Arrested Development" Deal D.O.A.?

Variety is reporting today that Arrested Development showrunner Mitch Hurwitz would not continue with the show, should a deal between studio 20th Century Fox and Showtime go through, putting a spanner in any potential deal to save the beleaguered comedy, which recently concluded its (truncated) three season run on Fox.

Showtime president Bob Greenblatt had said in the past that Hurwitz was a crucial part of any deal involving Arrested Development. If Hurwitz is no longer part of the package, then there's no possible way for any deal to go forward at Showtime.

The reason behind the split? According to Hurwitz, the decision was based on both financial and creative concerns. (Why, Mitch, why?) Hurwitz told Variety:
"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. 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 one bright point amid this gloom: Hurwitz did hint that while Arrested Development be coming to an end in its current TV incarnation, he might be interested in reviving the show as a feature film down the line. (My feeling is that those chances are less likely than a Buster-Lucille II romantic reunion. Sadly, I just don't see it happening as a theatrical release.)

There has been no official comment from the studio confirming the death of Arrested Development. However, on this day which will henceforth be known to me as Black Tuesday, it's beginning to look like the writing is on the wall for the Bluth family. With Showtime, out of the mix, I don't know where else the studio can take the show, especially without the involvement of Mitch Hurwitz and lieutenant Jim Vallely (who said that he wouldn't do the show without Hurwitz). It's not looking good, people.

While I don't want to give up the fight, at this point, all I can say is: Rest in peace, my wacky, wonderful Bluths. We'll miss you.

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