The opening narration “And how the story of a family who lost everything” becomes “Now the story of a family whose future was abruptly cancelled” in the fourth season of Arrested Development, the first of many digs at the FOX network that canceled the series seven years ago.
Arrested Development was a FOX show that ran for three seasons from 2003 to 2006 before being canceled due to low ratings. Like FOX’s The Family Guy before it, Arrested Development had legs, and became popular in syndication and on DVD.
It was an inspired comedy show about a wealthy but dysfunctional California family that had fallen on hard times, its fortune spent and its patriarch arrested for numerous crimes, including “light treason.” It was shot with handheld cameras in a reality show style with numerous cutaways jokes and “archival” background footage.
The show was a critical success, garnering six Emmy awards and a Golden Globe, but failed to find an audience outside of its core fan base, resulting in its cancellation by FOX.
Creator Mitchell Hurwitz was given the opportunity to revive the series by Netflix, the Internet streaming and DVD-by-mail company that has seen recent success in original series, most notably House of Cards with Kevin Spacey. Netflix released all 15 episodes of Arrested Development season four on May 26.
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