Saturday, August 1, 2015

"Arrested Development" Coming Back

And that means just what it says, not that there will be new episodes. But all 53 old episodes will unspool on cable's IFC starting this Sunday.

"Arrested Development" Coming Back

Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat, from "Arrested Development."
Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat, from "Arrested Development." Sam Urdank/FOX

And that means just what it says, not that there will be new episodes. But all 53 old episodes will unspool on cable's IFC starting this Sunday, the network announced today. That's a pretty short lead time between the announcement and the kickoff.

IFC, in the midst of a Monty Python retrospective, figured what better way to augment that silliness than with the isanity of the Bluth family, one of television's all-time most dysfunctional. Arrested Development became one of the classic cult hits of television, as Fox struggled mightily for three years to get enough people to watch to make the show economically viable. The network never succeeded, but the fans it did attract are among some of the most rabid anywhere. The show helped launch the career of Michael Cera, who played the young Bluth torn between decency and living up to his father's sketchy expectations. He went on to star with Ellen Page in Juno, while his Development co-star Alia Shawkat is appearing with Page currently in the Drew Barrymore feature Whip It.

Shawkat and Page, said to be the best of buddies, are also working, with Sean Tillmann, (the Ron Jeremy lookalike is also called Har Mar Superstar and Sean Na Na) to produce a show about two hipster chicks who move from New York's Williamsburg to L.A.'s Silver Lake, and what a transition that would be.

No word if they'll appear on screen, but as you can see from the below video, dedicated to Page's mother (and how could I resist another version of The Greatest Song of All Time?) everybody has their fingers crossed. Or maybe not.

IFC will launch the show on Sunday (Oct. 28) at 10 p.m., airing back-to-back episodes weekly at that time, and also Tuesdays at 9 p.m., during its "Automat" night, which is supposed to be special stuff designed to appeal primarily to young men.

Like 80 percent of the other fringe cablers, IFC is trying to reposition itself a little closer to the mainstream, while still staying different from it. It's not the Independent Film Channel, but still a little ways away from being Spike or FX.


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My So-Called Life, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Survivor, I’ll Fly Away, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The X-Files, Northern Exposure, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, NYPD Blue, Frasier, Ally McBeal, and, in the much-too-overlooked category, American Dreams, The Riches, Flight of the Conchords and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

TV has given us wondrous fare over the last 20 years, and Philadelphia Inquirer TV critic Jonathan Storm has been paid to watch it. He has also been forced to watch five cycles of presidential debates, Fear Factor, The Swan and Bill O’Reilly. There is no free lunch in life.

He’s still watching and talking to the folks who make TV, from mega-producers Jerry Bruckheimer and David E. Kelley to the little kids in Medium. And now he’s blogging about it, with insights and info that you won’t find anywhere else. Reach Jonathan at

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