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How A Television Series Gets Cancelled

Arrested Development tv show photo

Arrested Development was one of those shows that was just too good to continue living on the air (much like Joss Whedon‘s epic sci-fi series, Firefly).

The creator of Arrested Development, Mitch Hurwitz penned an article in The Guardian today which explains, point by point, how to get a series canceled.

It’s a fun little read, and I’m glad that he has a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Below the jump are just a sample of the goodness contained within the article. Be sure to read the whole piece in The Guardian when you have a chance.

Have a confusing title

Come up with an unwieldy title that perhaps comes from the realm of psychology, so that the title of your show is almost instantly forgettable. For example, if you were to call the show Welcome Matt, an audience could immediately understand the concept: this must be a character named Matt and he must either be a welcoming person or stepped on. If you call a show Arrested Development it’s confusing and sufficiently disorientating to guarantee that a wide audience never discovers the fruits of your labor.

Audiences love fast cars and exciting vehicles

So see if you can put in some heavy machinery like a stair-car, that isn’t easily associated with speed or sex appeal.

Add a sprinkle of incest

They’ll never admit it, but viewers love sex. In fact, they love any sort of titillation, with the exception of incest. So focus on that.

First impressions are everything

So if you can screw that up, you’re made. With Arrested Development, we tried showing the deep disdain that connects a family. We wanted to hold up a mirror to American society. And, just as predicted, America looked away.

Audiences like nicely dressed characters. They also enjoy nudity

Split the difference by putting your character in a pair of cut-offs and call him a Never-Nude. Advanced: feel free to dip him in a vat of blue paint. That’s a real turn-off.

Category: TV

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