“Arrested Development” comes to an end

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    By Lisa Ruefenacht

    It”s always sad when good things come to an end. Remember Napster? Childhood? Summer?

    Fox”s critically acclaimed comedy, “Arrested Development,” is no exception. After a three-season run, Fox has finally killed the cult comedy. The program”s four remaining episodes air tonight, Feb. 10, 2006 at 7 p.m.

    Despite a premature ending, “Arrested Development” has become one of the most revered and acclaimed shows in the history of television. Entertainment Weekly said, “Once in the history of time comes a sitcom like ”Arrested Development.””

    “Arrested Development” follows the “riches to rags,” highly dysfunctional Bluth family, who owns the Bluth mini-mansion empire. The family revolves around their honorable brother, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), who frantically tries to keep the Bluth company and name together.

    Throughout its time on the air, “Arrested Development” earned six Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, Writing, Directing, Casting and Editing. Lead actor Jason Bateman won a Golden Globe for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical or Comedy Series, and the show was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for Outstanding Musical or Comedy Series. During season two, the cast was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. The show was named an American Film Institute Program of the Year and received the Critics” Choice Award for Best Comedy, as well as many other honors. “Arrested Development” regularly featured guest stars such as Heather Graham, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Liza Minnelli, Ben Stiller and Charlize Theron.

    BYU computer science major and “Arrested Development” enthusiast Brady Kimball said the program revolutionized comedy TV.

    “No other show would reference itself at all, let alone in so many creative ways,” Kimball said. “How many cop, hospital and political dramas can there be?”

    In a press release last year, the Fox Broadcasting Company”s President of Entertainment Peter Liguori said that “Arrested Development” was one of the best shows on television. However recently in a statement, Liguori said it is “highly unlikely ”Arrested Development” is coming back. We have to look at our development, see how the last four episodes do.”

    This means that Fox is broadcasting the final, unaired episodes against the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Circulating rumors say Showtime will pick up the show for two additional seasons; also, ABC is rumored to have offered a 13-episode deal.

    “They”re taking a dump on one of the best shows ever made by pushing the last four episodes out. They never knew how to market the show; they never helped it survive,” Kimball said.

    This isn”t the first award-winning Fox show that hasn”t survived. The first seasons of “Family Guy,” as well as “Futurama” and “Freaks and Geeks,” all shared the same haphazard scheduling and weak marketing with “Arrested Development.”

    “Fox has a continual problem with putting really fantastic shows in really bad time slots and ineffectively advertising their shows,” said J.R. Boyce, an English major from Houston. “I didn”t even know ”Arrested Development” existed until season two. Even then, I”ve only seen the show on DVD because the TV programming is so irregular.”

    The final four “Arrested Development” episodes air in a two-hour block at 7 p.m. tonight, Feb. 10, 2006 on Fox.

    For more information, visit www.fox.com/arresteddev.

    (For comments, e-mail Lisa Ruefenacht at )

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