Great piece on Giga OM about the impact Arrested Development could have on the fortunes of Netflix, and the wider TV distribution chain.
The TV singularity approaching us consumers of media is at times a scary one: We’re used to shows that cost millions an episode, but we’re also now used to consuming whatever we want, wherever and whenever we want. Some people think that going forward, these two mindsets won’t be able to co-exist. But Netflix seems to disagree, and the Bluths may be the ones to prove it.
With Hulu Co-pro’ing The Thick of It, I wonder if Lovefilm have any plans to acquire a much-loved series to have it exclusively on their network.
Arrested Development is returning to our screens, and The Guardian asks if the delivery of all 10 episodes at once via Netflix show will change the way we consume TV.
On the other hand: isn’t this already happening? Take Mad Men as an example: I’m waiting for the new series to come out on DVD, but other people I know stream it illegally straight after it airs in America, and a handful of crazy nonconformists even watch – or record – it via Sky Atlantic. As a result, because we’re all getting our information at different times, it’s becoming natural to exercise a basic level of caution when discussing plot points; to try and sidestep spoilers. The more shows do this, the more normal this behaviour becomes.
I think I would prefer the anticipation of a week to week delivery, but I’ll take it however it comes. To be honest, I’m pretty sure that 20th Century Fox will sell the show to international broadcasters outside the US, so The Guardian shouldn’t worry about breaking the linear delivery mould.
Remember when I told you that Michael Cera had signed a deal with CBS to write and star in an online comedy? and it was going to air exclusively on CBS’ online venture, innertube? You do? Well that’s amazing, because I was meaning to write about it but I never got around to it.
The program is now available, but not through innertube as originally promised, instead it is being shown on a whole new site which is pretty slick. Click here for the magic.
While researching the article below (by researching I mean scouring Facebook for people I know), I came across this article on 13 TV shows that should never have been canceled. It’s worth the read for the write-up on Arrested Development alone. But there are other reasons to read it, not just that! I loved Andy Richter even though nobody else did, and one day i’m going to get round to watching Freaks and Geeks, because that sounds like an average night out in the pub for me.
Just to play devil’s advocate with the guy who wrote the article though, I would say some of them are so beloved because they were cut short in their prime… I’m sure he would agree.
…or a fourth or fifth for that matter. I’m referring of course, to Ricky Gervais’ decision to finish Extras with a “One-off special” as opposed to writing what the London Metro newspaper described as “a disappointing third series” of the awkward comedy. Why would it have to be disappointing? What is this rule in British comedy that you can only have 2 x 6 episodes, and any more than that would be overkill or cashing in/selling out? Somebody please tell me, I’m dying to know???
People are always saying Fawlty Towers only had 12 episodes, and that’s the standard. Well I’m pretty sure if Connie Booth and John Cleese hadn’t divorced, they would haver written many more years of that particular comedy (that I love, in case you are wondering).
Look at the US version of The Office. They must be almost 50 episodes in, and although not at it’s best so far this season, episodes in Season 2 were showing what could be done with these characters both in and out of the office. Incidentally the episode written by Gervais and Merchant this season turned out to be one of the weaker ones.
Conversely, I remember the outrage on forums in the days after Mtchell Hurwitz’s announcement that he would not be continuing Arrested Development on Showtime. Commentators anger stemmed from their belief (which I don’t share) that if Mitchell only had 58 episodes worth of material in him, he never should have started Arrested Development. Imagine how these people would react to another UK sitcom creator calling it a day after 2 lots of 6…
I think UK comedy writers need to buck up their ideas if they want to be taken seriously. The bottom line is if you have created a set of characters, and you can only do one intro episode and put them in 11 different situations, then your characters must be one-dimensional, or you aren’t much of a writer, or both, and you should stick to sketch comedies with repetitive catchphrases. Because sadly in the UK, thats where the real comedy money is.
come back from my relaxing holiday and whats the first thing I see in my inbox? Fox have more or less cancelled the greatest comedy of my adult life, Arrested Development.
In the past, none of the apparently good TV programs that Fox cancelled before their time affected me (Except maybe Keen Eddie), but now I really don’t like them!
Americans just never understood it. Head and shoulders above the next funniest thing on TV, the recent “retarded British Charlize Theron” storyline? funny funny funny!! Tobias Funke?? Funny funny!! George Michael and Ann?? Shit man…
The last episodes will air on FOX in December, and BBC Four late next year. If you are not in the US, get it from Bittorrent for free quicker.. Thats right I said it! Steal it, Fox owe you big time!!