Why did Arrested Development get cancelled?
March 22, 2006 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Why did Arrested Development get cancelled?

It's just so damn good. I'd love to hear some opinions as to why it failed. Or see any good blogposts or articles.
posted by BigBrownBear to Media & Arts (55 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It had low ratings. I'm serious. That's why anything gets cancelled. Fox was actually ridiculously fair to the series -- I remember seeing the Arrested crew on my Burger King carry out bag for a couple months before this season began and I was thinking -- wow, pretty obscure show to be getting the Burger King treatment (you know, usually reserved for "event movies" like X-Men). It won Emmys. It was heavily promoted during NFL games.

And, it still drew in viewers similar to what barely promoted WB/UPN shows bring in too. I really am not going to blame Fox for dropping the ball on this one.

My one regret is that in the age of 150 channel television, not one enterprising network is going to pick it up. In an age when any show brining in 2-3 million viewers a night on cable is a hit, I bet Showtime or HBO would do great if they renewed and ran Arrested.
posted by narebuc at 7:15 AM on March 22, 2006

A demand to cancel Arrested Development!!!
posted by glibhamdreck at 7:16 AM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: I actually didn't like it at first either. Only after I started from the beginning did I get into it. I don't think the intro really explains the show's premise and it's hard to catch on to the relationships between the characters even after seeing a couple of episodes.

My wife, who is more of a Grey's Anatomy/Desperate Housewives fan, actually has gotten into it as well after we started from the beginning. Makes me think that maybe if they explained it a little better, they could have gotten people into it.
posted by BigBrownBear at 7:23 AM on March 22, 2006

I think it would've done better around the same time as Seinfeld's reign. This is just conjecture, but perhaps that crowd is now a little too distracted by the internet, HBO/Showtime and TiVo/DVR/OnDemand. I saw every episode of the series, but viewed maybe two or three when they were originally broadcast - I bought the DVDs for the first season and mostly downloaded the second and third season from torrents. Besides being busy and distracted, I almost never watch network TV. The only thing I watch regularly are the Sunday night HBO shows. If the Arrested Development demographic is mostly like me, I can see why it didn't do to well (though I'd have thought DVD sale could have reversed that situation). And, Burger King ads? Doesn't really seem like the best advertising channel for this show.
posted by mullacc at 7:27 AM on March 22, 2006

I'm serious though, I only saw one episode and it didn't make any sense at all. There was an old dude living in the attic (I guess the father), I had no idea why. And then there was some sub plot about a seal that had bitten someone else in the cast released.

An estranged husband and wife hid in someone's shower in order to collect a girl's urine to see if she was pregnant, at which point they had sex or something in the shower.

And some kid wanted to join the army, much to the Chagrin of his mother, who was like the matriarch of the family.

I'm sorry, but it was like a collection of totally random elements. I have no idea why anyone would find it funny or certainly find it "character driven" The characters were facing completely bizarre situations and not acting that strange, I mean, how is it realistic to be worrying about your daughter's relationship while your father is hiding in an attic and all this other crazy stuff.

The show was nonsense.
posted by delmoi at 7:30 AM on March 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: mullacc. Agree with you. I never watched them broadcast either. I think I saw some comment on longtail or lostremote mentioning how they should pack up and try to sell it online since that is the main demographic. Probably could have been pretty successful.
posted by BigBrownBear at 7:31 AM on March 22, 2006

It's a pretty hard show to figure out, if you are coming in after the fact, esp. if someone isn't there to give you a sense of how different the humor is, the sight gags, etc. So an average TV viewer hasn't got a prayer of becoming interested, as far as I can tell. I started into it last year and had the same reaction I did when I was young and saw Monty Python, which is that it blew my mind. The writing and comic timing was better than any show I can remember ever seeing on network TV. But that's pretty much the kiss of death in a medium that rewards mediocrity at every turn.
posted by docpops at 7:31 AM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: delmoi. my opinion, too - until i started from the beginning. i think that was the real flaw with the program and the line between people who liked it and those who didnt.
posted by BigBrownBear at 7:32 AM on March 22, 2006

I think it's the type of show that you really needed to watch from the beginning. I rented the first season DVDs before I started watching it on TV and I'm glad I did. Jumping into it in the middle would have been really confusing.

Also, I think it was a bit too intelligent for the average TV viewer. There were so many quick jokes, call-backs to other episodes, pop culture references, and sub-plots that it would turn off anyone who is used to watching shows like Friends.

Those are just my theories.

It reminded me a lot of the show Soap, from back in the 70s, a show that also had too much for TV viewers to keep up with.
posted by bondcliff at 7:36 AM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: Soap was awesome.
posted by BigBrownBear at 7:37 AM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: I think that they also could have found some way to better explain the characters and relationship occassionally. Lost is really good at doing that. Probably not the same situation, but Arrested Development should have done something to better address the reason why it was failing.
posted by BigBrownBear at 7:38 AM on March 22, 2006

Because it has a story, and each episode picks up where the last left off. A series like that can't readily pick up new viewers in the middle because they're lost. It would have done much better if all of the previous episodes were available for watching at any time (on demand or download).
posted by Caviar at 7:39 AM on March 22, 2006

It was simple economics. It was a huge cast show with good production values shot in HD. It was expensive to run. They changed the show's slot several times looking for an audience and some advertisers to support the show and they never found it.

Without an audience, you can't produce a show with 7 or 8 good actors and a giant team of writers.

That said, many of the biggest shows took off slowly. It took Seinfeld a couple years to start getting an audience and it seemed like only after four years did it become a really big deal show that everybody watched. Even the Simpsons seemed to languish the first couple years before taking off.
posted by mathowie at 7:41 AM on March 22, 2006

There was a rerun of the second season a few weeks ago here. It was on sundays afternoon (3 sundays with 6 episodes each, running from 17:00 to 20:00). That's how I got hooked.

I believe the quick plot twisting pace has something to do with its demise. They will twist the plot MANY times in a 30 minutes time, which will probably scare casual viewers.

I actually started watching it because it was sunday and everything else on TV sucked. I thought I was watching a "plot twist episode", which made me feel like when you are watching the final 30 minutes of a movie, and I was lucky the rest of the channels sucked enough to make me watch three episodes in a row. Then I realized plot-twisting was the premise of the show, and got hooked.

This is what makes a show "a success of critic and a failure in ratings": Trying to make an "acquired taste" show. The show sucks for the casual viewer, who dismisses it as "bad" and goes watch "Will and Grace", and the critics, which usually have to watch it anyway will end up loving it.

By the way, the same thing happens with 24 (I hate that series, because everytime I try to casually watch it, it bores me to death. And I do realize that if I watched in full the first 3 episodes I'd be addicted). I don't know how it got out of the trap, though... I guess it's because people don't expect to be casual to dramatic series...
posted by qvantamon at 7:42 AM on March 22, 2006

A thing to understand about FOX: they have creative folks on their development side who happily nurture quirky shows like Arrested Development. On the programming side, however, they have frightened trolls who will pull anything outside the mainstream off the air in a heartbeat and replace it with "The Midget Nazi Eskimo Bachelor 4." Thus, FOX will often launch interesting, unusual shows (see also: Firefly) only to cut their lives short when the programming trolls get scared of low initital ratings.

It's true that AD got poor ratings; it's also true that FOX never promoted the show, never ran ads or bought billboards, shuffled it from one crappy timeslot to another, and generally ignored it in favor of reality clap-trap they knew how to market cheaply to the lowest common denomenator. If it weren't for the critical aclaim and dedicated fans running campaigns to save the show year after year, it wouldn't have lasted as long as it did.
posted by junkbox at 7:49 AM on March 22, 2006

My uninformed opinion: I think many viewers expect half-hour shows to stand alone (Seinfeld, Simpsons, any sitcom) but don't mind hour-long shows that require continuity (24, any drama). That seems deeply ingraned to the tv-viewer conscious.

I've only seen a few of the shows, I think I caught 2 or 3 back-to-back in a marathon around the time it was cancelled. It was much funnier when you saw a few episodes together.

I don't think it was appropriately marketed, because until I actually watched it I thought of it as "just a sitcom" that I'd heard good things about. I don't know if I would've been more likely to watch it if the marketing had told me that it was more of a serial, but I bet people who tuned in once and stopped watching were scared off because they didn't know what they were getting into.
posted by sohcahtoa at 7:51 AM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: I bet there will be a new AD type show that takes off now that big media is getting less scared of the internet. (Thank Steve Jobs for that, too).
posted by BigBrownBear at 7:53 AM on March 22, 2006

There are a lot of shows that are currently promoted as serials that rely on a lot of continuity like 24, Lost, and pretty much any long-running drama that gets stuck in its own continuity. I can't think of many of these that are comedies.

The worst that Fox did to the show was to poorly schedule "jumping on" episodes and then fail to promote them. When they would show two shows back-to-back, it'd be a rerun and then the current episode, or vice versa. I jumped on at the beginning of the second season after watching an episode or two of the first season and was able to get into it a lot easier after watching two consecutive episodes.
The strength of the show is that I could give you a one line summary of any of the characters AND something that they've gone through. Shows like The Simpsons took years to cycle through the active character -- remember the years where nearly every show was centered on Homer, then there was a glut of Bart episodes? And how they throw Lisa a bone every once in a while? With Arrested Development, there's pretty much always something happening to each character. Serial comedy requires a much longer attention span. The only constants were the in-jokes like the "next time on Arrested Development" gag and the strong characters.
posted by mikeh at 7:56 AM on March 22, 2006

Re why no one else has picked it up: just conjecture, but Fox has a lot more money than some no-name channel, and they might not be able to afford it.
posted by danb at 7:58 AM on March 22, 2006

The cost to produce the show vs. the amount of people watching it was too drastic.

The show really rewarded close attention to what was going on, many of the jokes would be set up several episodes before, and then sprung when you least expect it. There were several situations set up in the first season that didn't become hilarious until they returned to them in the third season. Something as little as a hand-shaped chair would become important eventually.
posted by drezdn at 8:07 AM on March 22, 2006

I also didn't really get it until I saw the first episodes. I had seen one episode in between, and it was all very confusing. Once I saw the beginning I understood the middle-of-the-season episode I'd seen before (Oh! It's his brother! It's a model home!) but there is no exposition in between and it's very weird to catch on to it.
posted by easternblot at 8:12 AM on March 22, 2006

is it really for sure that showtime won't pick this show up?

I agree with most of the opinions here--I think that this show needed to be more episodic, rather than the ongoing plots that constantly needed to be recapped. All the recapping really isn't effective for a new viewer and just is kinda annoying to a loyal viewer (i know why the dad is in the attic, that a seal ate buster's hand, etc).
Seinfeld did require some critical distance to appreciate, but each episode generally works on its own, nothing fundamental ever changes, etc.
I also never got into the show until i watched the DVDs.
posted by alkupe at 8:15 AM on March 22, 2006

It was a cure for insomnia.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:26 AM on March 22, 2006

I gotta say buster, Gob and david cross are amazingly funny.

Tell me there's a funnier joke than david cross being the first analyst-therapist, an analrapist. that's about as good as jokes get.
posted by alkupe at 8:32 AM on March 22, 2006

alkupe, one of the Heads of Programming at Television Without Pity posted yesterday that, according to Jason Bateman, Showtime has offered to pick up the show for at least two (12 or 13 episode) seasons, but Mitch hasn't accepted the offer yet.
posted by amarynth at 8:47 AM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: that would be awesome
posted by BigBrownBear at 9:03 AM on March 22, 2006

Ok, so AD had a problem in that you really have to see it from the beginning to get it. So does 24. So does Lost, Deadwood, the Sopranos, even Desperate Housewives even, etc. The "sequential problem" happens more these days with the better quality shows because they're written with longer story arcs and are more character driven. Soap opera have always been written this way, with enough lurid things happening in each episode to intrigue the newbie (and the assumption that pre-soccer moms would set aside the time every day.)

24 has the obvious advantage that people can easily keep track of which episode they've seen easily. Fox hasn't figured out that not everyone has cable and TiVo, and they aren't very respectful of episode chronology in the first place-- check out (bottom of page) what they did to the taped vs. broadcast sequence of the episodes of Firefly.

So to me it still comes back to what David Cross said, the Marketing Department at Fox. They could've done better at selling it, and they could done better to catch people up--marathons, 'see it from the beginning' nights, stuff like that. Or Maybe Fox just doesn't have the budget or the brains to know what to do with something of high quality. I had to push the show--literally putting my store bought first season DVDs in their hands, to several people who became huge fans later, because they didn't anything that good could be on broadcast tv.
posted by tula at 9:21 AM on March 22, 2006

Response by poster: you know something that really ticked me off? I rented the first season DVD from this video stores here in Spain (it is starting to gain popularity here) and there were 10 minutes of copyright protections warnings. Are you kidding me? Not only was I probably part of the handful of people who actually RENTED the DVDs, but the only reason the show lasted as long as it did was because of piracy.
posted by BigBrownBear at 9:30 AM on March 22, 2006

Ok, so AD had a problem in that you really have to see it from the beginning to get it. So does 24.

I would actually strenuously disagree with this. Yes, they are both serials, but 24 doesn't have this problem in the way that Arrested Development. The reason is that the 24 writers go out of their way to explain past events through dialogue to bring sporadic viewers up to speed. The show is full of things that sound very scripted and stupid like "Jack, it's just been so hard to figure out why terrorists would release nerve gas in the mall like they did an hour ago." This stuff is thrown in there to help out people who don't know what's going on, and it hurts the show artistically, but it is a smart business decision to keep viewers from getting alienated if they miss an episode.

The Arrested Development people don't do this, for a variety of reasons. It's harder given their show's content and length, but more importantly, I think they are more focused on making a kick-ass show for people who put in the time to "get" it and watch it all the time. It's like a big Russian doll of in-jokes. Depending on how you define quality (making a show that lots of people like or making a show that fewer people like more intensely), I'd say the show is better for it, but doomed to fail financially because of it.

For the record, I love both shows.
posted by TunnelArmr at 9:32 AM on March 22, 2006

...there were periods when you weren't sure whether or not it was coming on, or when...

i loved the show, and i don't know if i would say that it required someone of a certain degree of intelligence to get into it...i think it was geared toward people with a certain pop culture sensibility--not saying that as a good or bad thing...i always felt i responded to it because i grew up immersed in television and pop culture to a degree that a lot of people were not, and that i could view that culture in a certain way such that i enjoyed and commented on it without necessarily being stupified by it...and so it seemed the show conveyed sort of a shorthand that i understood...(i think the fact that the show was narrated by Ron Howard--who grew up on television--underscored its target sensibility)...as much as the show's promotion might have been an issue, i think also they might have overestimated the size of this particular brand of audience, or at least its willingness to engage with a relatively chaotic form of metatelevision...

also, i felt the show was good for repeat viewings because, for me at least, there would always be something you didn't catch the first time around, and i kind of enjoy when something is rich enough in content that something might pass you by...

at this point i would say that my favorite character was tobias...but my favorite joke centered around the variations on 'afternoon delight,' including putting it into someone's brownie...
posted by troybob at 9:32 AM on March 22, 2006

You know, another element about this show was its absolute masterful subtlety.

Buster, when visiting "Mexico" (stowed away in the back of Michael's car, gets out at housekeeper Lupe's house sans glasses, believe he's in Mexico) finds a hand chair that looked remarkably similar to his former hand chair (it was his hand chair). He mutters "I never thought I could miss a hand so much."

Oh precious episodes before he gets his hand bitten off by a seal. I'm into my third or fourth run through of the entire series, and I keep finding new things, absolutely contrived, absolutely brilliant.

It's amazing how far in advance Mitch and the gang thought things out, and the timing of absolutely everything was perfect. This show was brilliant in so many ways, but *so* difficult to get new converts to, simply because of how disorienting and crazy it can be if you just hop in to the middle. You wouldn't get how funny "Come on!" is when Michael says it towards the very end, if you hadn't seen GOB say it about ten times when bragging about his suit's cost in Afternoon Delight.

You wouldn't get the "That's why... you don't yell" armless man jokes if you didn't see pier pressure. You wouldn't get each and every throwback to the Series premiere that appeared in the series finale, like it occuring on a boat, the SEC again, the recurring gay-guy-carrying-a-freedom-sign, and so much more.

I can go on and on and on, and that's my favorite part about the show. It's amazing that way. But only if you start from the beginning, and pay attention.
posted by disillusioned at 9:46 AM on March 22, 2006

I love Arrested Development, but almost never was able to catch it on TV. I barely saw the third season... I'd rather sit with the DVDs and watch a pile of episodes at once to get the pleasure watching jokes unfold slowly. It's a show that really seems to work best in that format.

I don't blame Fox for cancelling it, and I don't understand the people that say they didn't promote it. I saw as many promos for AD as I did any other show Fox runs. Heck, they planted Jason Bateman in the audience of American Idol.

What else did you want them to do?
posted by MegoSteve at 10:38 AM on March 22, 2006

Audiences are willing to invest a lot more time and attention in hour long dramas than in sitcoms, basically.

You could watch 3 random episodes of Seinfeld and there wouldn't be any continuity problems, for example. The Simpsons have lampooned and used that lack of continuity many times. ("And I further decree that everything will be just like it was before all this happened! And no one will ever mention it again... under penalty of torture.")

I've never been comfortable with the "Show X is a superlative TV show that rewards its audience for actually watching it," because it sounds high handed and wanky, but in Arrested Development's case, it's 100% true.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:41 AM on March 22, 2006

The reason it was cancelled was because it didn't have enough viewers and was not as cheap as regular sitcoms. There are a lot of reasons why it did not have enough viewers. The humor was far from universal, a lot of people just don't like the kind of humor the show had. From those who would have liked it, a great part could not get into it because the humor was also quite self-referential, so you really needed to have followed the show for a longer time.

And obviously, the Showtime offer is not going to be catch-free, Showtime might not want to pay too much money for it either. And they probably don't want to commit to a long run either and I bet it's very stressful for the cast and crew to live life half a season at a time.
posted by insomnus at 10:52 AM on March 22, 2006

i think also they might have overestimated the size of this particular brand of audience

On a related note, guess what audience the Nielsen TV rating people have decided to start including in their ratings for the first time? College students living alone. I've had people tell me they can't believe that Arrested Development's ratings can possibly be so low, because everyone they know watches it. Well ....
posted by blueshammer at 10:59 AM on March 22, 2006

I'd love to hear some opinions as to why it failed.

Ratings, ratings, ratings.

Demographics, demographics, demographics.

Networks would broadcast people reading phonebooks if it attracted a sufficiently sized audience of the right demographic.

Humor style, continuity, audience expectations -- all relevant considerations, but secondary to ratings and demographics. AD's material was focused at a narrow audience that nobody wants to advertise to.
posted by frogan at 11:02 AM on March 22, 2006

AD is the first television series I've purchased on DVD.

I have a love-hate relationship with it. It is a very stressful show to watch for two reasons: all aspects of the characters' lives are disastrous, and there's so much happening that one can't relax their attention for a second without missing out on some subtlety or in-joke. It is also hilariously, wittily, intelligently, and ceaselessly funny.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:05 AM on March 22, 2006

Ditto TunnelArmr's take on the difference between "24" and "Arrested Development." Except I didn't end up liking "Arrested Development" at all. It's like talk radio used to be to me when I was a kid—it makes me fall asleep.
posted by limeonaire at 11:05 AM on March 22, 2006

Why did Arrested Development get cancelled?

Someone made a huge mistake.
posted by turaho at 11:21 AM on March 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

I love Arrested Development, and was disappointed when I first heard it was being cancelled. But, when I thought about it further I decided that, for me, the show has run its course. I'd rather miss it than watch it peter out.
posted by juniper at 11:23 AM on March 22, 2006

When Henry Winkler casually jumps over a shark. . .you can easily miss it. . .it's a throwaway gag but there are endless moments like that. . .it had to be fun to work on this show.

My admiration for a network show seems to be the kiss of death. I loved Committed, which never made it out of infancy.
posted by Danf at 11:46 AM on March 22, 2006

AD's material was focused at a narrow audience that nobody wants to advertise to

I don't believe so. In fact, the story of why it even made it to Season 3 wasn't just "Fox giving it a chance"; it was that it attracted "the right kind of viewer" (I think it was, essentially, rich white people, not sure though) and if it got critical mass of them, it would make a ton of money. When it failed to do that, it got the axe.

Personally, it's my favorite show of all time, but for all the reasons above (mainly "you had to be there from the beginning"), it's hard as hell to build an audience for. (Even MeFi injokes are easier to figure out!) I personally recruited a half-dozen loyal fans on the strength of lent DVDs and torrent files... now they're as hooked as I am. But Fox obviously can't mail every American a Season 1 DVD... but if they could, AD would probably double or triple its audience, at least.

Given some of the comments upthread, I wonder if the show should've been conceptualized as an hour-long comedy like Portia de Rossi's last show, Ally McBeal, or Desperate Housewives. Maybe that would've separated it from the comedy pack and made people give it a chance.

On the Showtime thing... I heard it was a done deal but evidently not. Not dead in the water either though. Here's what The Hollywood Reporter says.
posted by SuperNova at 12:36 PM on March 22, 2006

Here's an article from The Seattle Times to back up my claim about the audience:

The pleas of fans notwithstanding, that may be why Fox renewed "Arrested Development." Like NBC's "The West Wing" (also back) and ABC's "Desperate Housewives," it's among the series that score best with affluent audiences, partly through characters and stories that reflect an affluent life.

I've seen it other places, but that's the first one that popped up. Just so you knew I wasn't making it up ;-)
posted by SuperNova at 12:43 PM on March 22, 2006

AD had spectacular demographics, that's why it was renewed twice despite poor ratings -- the hopes that each hipster and six-figure 30-something who watched it would persuade two people just like him to watch the show, in which case the show would start to print money for Fox. Unfortunately, this never happened.

As for a new network, it's not going to be easy for Showtime to get the deal done.

The cost side is tough: despite the show's failure, it's not going to be cheaper to produce -- the stars and the key writer-producers are all hot properties in Hollywood and unlikely to accept pay cuts or meaningful cuts in below-the-line budgets (sets, music, etc.) I'd guess that an episode of AD costs at least three times what an episode of Weeds (Showtime's current sitcom) costs to get in the can.

The revenue side is equally tough. It is very hard to get new subscribers into the premium networks. 12 episodes a year -- 6 hours -- of a show, no matter how good, is not going to make a lot of people take out a $100/year subscription to a Showtime/Movie Channel package. If you've ever wondered why HBO limits original programming so much even though it has such a tremendously good track record at developing good programming, that's why -- the return on investment is very challenging.
posted by MattD at 1:05 PM on March 22, 2006

12 episodes a year -- 6 hours -- of a show, no matter how good, is not going to make a lot of people take out a $100/year subscription to a Showtime/Movie Channel package.

I totally agree and am very unlikely to subscribe, but I must say that AD plus This American Life plus, yeah, I'll give 'em Weeds -- that's the foundation of a pretty good pitch. Now if the whole Mark Cuban PPV scheme could be rejiggered to something more like Showtime such that I might get an original Steven Soderbergh movie or two a year, and suddenly it congeals into *something* (although I think about people who maintained HBO for the two years between Sopranos seasons and can only say "ouch").
posted by blueshammer at 2:10 PM on March 22, 2006

SuperNova ... I'm not disagreeing with you, just wanted to point out some other salient thoughts that occurred to me..

the story of why it even made it to Season 3

Depending on how the deals are structured, the third season is often where syndication opportunities kick in. I'm speculating, but it's possible that Season 3 existed only to make sure those opportunities remained in play, and only secondarily to give the show more opportunities to gain traction with the advertisers.

wasn't just "Fox giving it a chance"; it was that it attracted "the right kind of viewer" (I think it was, essentially, rich white people, not sure though)

One thing I should have mentioned was that while the show might be designed to attract the right kind of viewer, the network doesn't, so it can't deliver those viewers to the show. This is why you'll almost never see anything really "edgy" on CBS -- the network's demographics overall won't match up with the demographics of a show like AD.

So, at Fox, one of the problems might've been that while it was attracting a good demo by itself, it was losing the overall Fox demo. One step forward and two steps back. AD might've been a better fit at NBC or HBO.
posted by frogan at 2:25 PM on March 22, 2006

It's not a terrifically funny show. It's funny, and I've tried to watch it at least four separate times since it premiered, and I find it impossible to get into it. It's not as artificially bad as Napoleon Dynamite, but it has that element of contrivance that makes it not funny to me, but to people who don't care about that, both AD and ND are hilarious and great and why doesn't everyone love it?!

Also, Ron Howard's voice-overs were like a great unsubtle hammer to the head.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 2:37 PM on March 22, 2006

That said, contrivance isn't necessarily bad -- Rushmore is, for me, the perfect sweet spot.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 2:38 PM on March 22, 2006

Best answer: Metafilter: "Come ON!!!"
posted by joeblough at 3:10 PM on March 22, 2006

blueshammer -- in between seasons of the Sopranos, we got Deadwood and Rome. I'm calling it even.
posted by atholbrose at 10:27 AM on March 23, 2006

I suspect AD's big market is with net-geeks like myself. I'd happily pay a few bucks a torrented episode, especially if that few bucks went directly to the cast and crew, and wasn't lining Rupert Murdoch's wallet.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:28 AM on March 23, 2006

Also, is Weeds back in production? I enjoyed that one, though I'm having difficulty imagining they can make it last more than a few seasons before the protagonists end up in jail...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 AM on March 23, 2006

Response by poster: I still think there is so much potential there that it might pull a family guy...despite the aforementioned costs.
posted by BigBrownBear at 10:31 AM on March 23, 2006

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