10 Small Details You Only Notice Rewatching Arrested Development

9. All The References To The Show's Impending Cancellation

Arrested Development
Fox / Netflix

Arrested Development is arguably one of the most well-written and critically-acclaimed series of the new millennium, but it was always under threat of cancellation. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given that the show premiered on Fox, and the network seemed to enjoy canceling shows more than airing them.

While this was going on in the real world, it was also going on in the show, thanks to some clever jokes and references. You might not have noticed any of these while first watching Arrested Development, but on a second or third viewing, they end up being pretty meta.

When season two premiered, Michael tells the rest of the family that the Bluth's model home contract was cut from 22 to only 18 homes. That was a direct reference to the total number of episodes Fox ordered for the season, which was cut down to 18 from 22.

Later, in season three, Michael says of the company, "The HBO's (Home Builder's Organisation) not going to want us," which referenced how HBO doesn't pick up shows dropped by other networks. After he finished talking, George Bluth quips, "Well, I think it's Showtime," which referenced HBO's biggest competitor. At the time, Showtime was rumored to be interested in taking up the series after cancellation. This all came in the episode "S.O.B.s," which was all about saving "Saving Our Bluth" family, i.e., saving the show.


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