Thursday, November 23, 2017
TV and Media

Netflix releasing new 'Arrested Development' Sunday at 3 a.m.


It's the most-anticipated TV series salvage in recent history, with the added possibility of reshaping how we all watch television.

Indeed, Sunday's debut of a new season from cult comedy Arrested Development on Net­flix — which will unveil all 15 episodes in a rush at 3:01 a.m. local time — is so unorthodox, even creator and executive producer Mitch Hurwitz has no idea what he'll do on the day.

"I thought at first I could do a live Twitter thing; but then, people would just register their complaints with me," said Hurwitz, laughing. "Why should I offer them that opportunity?"

In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Hurwitz was joined by co-stars Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter to talk about Netflix's decision to exhume a show canceled by Fox more than six years ago.

The series, focused on the supremely dysfunctional and once wealthy Bluth family, features Larry Sanders alum Tambor and showbiz legend Walter as felonious parents George Sr. and Lucille Bluth. Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi and Tony Hale are siblings Michael, George Jr. (or G.O.B.), Lindsay and Buster Bluth, respectively. Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno) is Michael's son George Michael, and David Cross (Men in Black, Modern Family) is Lindsay's sexually confused husband Tobias Funke.

When it aired on Fox, Arrested Development had the pace of a live-action Simpsons' episode, filled with convoluted, intersecting storylines and sight gags so complex it might take three viewings to get them all. Fan love grew after its 2006 cancellation, thanks to DVD box sets and Netflix, which cut a deal for a new season after seeing how subscribers flocked to archived episodes.

The Netflix version takes even more chances, telling stories focused on each of nine major characters in hopes of setting up an Arrested Development movie. Guest stars such as Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen pop up, with Ron Howard returning as the show's narrator.

Here's a few points that emerged from the call:

Even Hurwitz doesn't know how fans should watch the show. "If you (binge) watch all of the episodes back-to-back, you'll gain something and you'll lose something," he said. "What's you'll gain is the macro story. What you might lose is some of the fun. … I joked that 30 seconds a day for three years is the best way." (He may also have to school Tambor, who admitted he doesn't even have a computer to watch Netflix yet.)

Non-Arrested Development fans may have to do some boning up. Critics on the conference call could watch the first new episode (after agreeing not to review it until Sunday). It often moves quicker than the network version, shifting in time and space to pack an amazing amount of jokes and plot into one 30-minute span.

Netflix may not say publicly how many people watch the show, and it may not matter. "Do they care (about ratings)?" Hurwitz said. "Is the fact that we're doing this conference call enough to boost the profile of the company? Do they (think) it's already established Netflix as a place where you can get premium content?"

It's not on broadcast TV, but there's almost no nudity and profanity is still bleeped. "I think we embrace the notion that the story is being filtered by this unseen narrator, who is a pretty nice guy," said Hurwitz, referencing Hollywood nice guy Howard. Walter joked she doesn't appear nude, because "they wouldn't let me do it."

They just finished up work on the episodes last week. "Do you know that (as late as) five days ago, I recorded one line on my iPhone (for the show)?" Tambor said, incredulously.

"What's different about this, is that the audience owns the material," Hurwitz added. "They aren't being told when they would get each particular bit of information. It informs the telling of the story."


Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TodayCollege footballMississippi at Mississippi State7:30 p.m.ESPNCollege basketballMissouri vs. Long Beach State11:30 a.m.ESPN2Tennessee vs. Villanova12:30 p.m.ESPNSt. John’s vs. Oregon State2 p.m.ESPNUPortland vs. North Carolina2:30 p.m.ESPNNorth C...
Updated: 12 hours ago
When to watch ‘Rudolph,’ ‘The Polar Express,’ ‘A Christmas Story Live’ and more holiday specials

When to watch ‘Rudolph,’ ‘The Polar Express,’ ‘A Christmas Story Live’ and more holiday specials

'Tis the season for a TV schedule packed with holiday specials and Christmas classics.We've already been seeing Christmas movies and commercials since early November, but the days following Thanksgiving are when all the networks kick into high gear.F...
Published: 11/22/17
Meet Amazon’s bawdy, opinionated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Meet Amazon’s bawdy, opinionated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Miriam "Midge" Maisel seems to have it all.It’s 1958 New York City, Upper West Side, and she’s a quick-witted Jewish housewife with two kids. She and her husband live in a plush apartment just a few floors below her meddling yet endearing parents.He’...
Published: 11/21/17
What to watch this week: ‘Marvel’s Runaways,’ ‘Godless,’ Thanksgiving specials

What to watch this week: ‘Marvel’s Runaways,’ ‘Godless,’ Thanksgiving specials

MondayDavid Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize, 9 p.m., PBS: A special celebrating the work of Late Night and The Late Show host David Letterman.SERIES PREMIERE: Big Hero 6 the Series, 8 p.m., Disney Channel: The new animated series takes place after th...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMarquette vs. VCU2:30 p.m.ESPN2Wichita State vs. California4:30 p.m.ESPN2Molloy at St. John’s6:30 p.m.FS1UCLA vs. Creighton7 p.m.ESPNUTexas A&M vs. Oklahoma State7 p.m.ESPN2Jackson State at Maryland7 p.m.Big TenWomen: Butler at...
Published: 11/19/17

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosMonster Energy Cup: Ford EcoBoost 4003 p.m.NBCCFLSaskatchewan at Toronto1 p.m.ESPNewsEdmonton at Calgary4:30 p.m.ESPNewsCollege basketballMonmouth at Virginia1 p.m.FSFWomen: Maryland at Connecticut1:30 p.m.ESPNPuerto Rico Tip-Off, fifth pla...
Published: 11/18/17

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: Ford EcoBoost 300 qualifying11 a.m.CNBCXfinity: Ford EcoBoost 3003:30 p.m.NBCSNCollege basketballMaryland-Eastern Shore at GeorgetownnoonFox SunBucknell at Maryland8:30 p.m.Big TenGolfPGA Europe: Tour Championship2:30 a.m.GolfPGA: ...
Published: 11/17/17
Video: Forget Pizza Rat. Meet St. Petersburg’s Pizza Squirrel

Video: Forget Pizza Rat. Meet St. Petersburg’s Pizza Squirrel

New York, it seems, doesn't have a monopoly on pizza-chomping rodents.Around 2:45 p.m. Friday, the Tampa Bay Times spotted a squirrel digging a nearly entire slice of pizza out of a trash can at 146 Second St. N in St. Petersburg. The squirrel hoppe...
Published: 11/17/17
Jeffrey Tambor accused of sexual harassment by his ‘Transparent’ co-star

Jeffrey Tambor accused of sexual harassment by his ‘Transparent’ co-star

"Transparent" actress Trace Lysette has accused actor Jeffrey Tambor of sexually harassing her on the set of the Amazon series.Lysette’s allegations mark the second time the star, who plays Maura Pfefferman on the critically acclaimed dramedy, has be...
Published: 11/17/17
Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

Here are this week’s pop culture winners and losers

WINNERS:Taylor SwiftFollowing the death of his mother, Gloria, The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon shared a touching story with the audience about his mom squeezing his hand three times and saying "I love you," when he was a kid. "Last week, I was in ...
Published: 11/17/17