Narrator: Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It's 'Arrested Development.'
And with that, the world was introduced to "Arrested Development," a network comedy that flopped in the ratings, enamored critics, was canceled by Fox in 2006 after three seasons, and became a cult classic that has been passed between friends with as much hopeful expectation as a dog-eared copy of Proust's "In Search of Lost Time."
A possible feature film version of the show set in and around Newport Beach has been a shimmering El Dorado in fans' minds for years; however, sporadic Tweets hinting at it began to fall upon increasingly jaded eyes.
But that hope was rekindled this week, with the announcement that the show's cast and crew will join together once again to produce about nine new episodes — one for each major cast member, filling viewers in on their activities since 2006 — to be followed by a long-delayed feature film.
"Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz announced the new material during a cast reunion last week at the annual "New Yorker" magazine festival. Tellingly, the reunion was the hottest ticket in town.
The original show concept was simple: a completely deadpan mockumentary show about a wealthy, dysfunctional Newport Beach family whose land development business goes up in flames.
Michael: They're going to keep Dad in jail until this whole thing gets sorted out.
[silence among the family]
Michael: Also, I've been told that the company's expense accounts have been frozen...
Michael: ...Interesting. I would have expected that after, "They're keeping Dad in jail."
"There was a cover letter that came with the script that said … pretty much, no diva-type behavior; we're gonna not really have fancy trailers," de Rossi recalled at the reunion. "I remember reading that and thinking, 'What am I getting myself into?'"
Networks and other interested parties, from Netflix and Hulu to Showtime and IFC, are all vying for the rights to the new miniseries; the original show is one of the most popular selections in the streaming providers' libraries. Fox reportedly isn't interested in bringing the show back, despite resurrecting the adult animated series "Futurama" after a similar five-year gap.
In celebration of the news, we share some of our favorite "A.D." moments — particularly those specific to the Newport Beach area.
Fans have spent years rewatching the series, indoctrinating new viewers with episodes about Cornballers, never-nudes, Segways, Mrs. Featherbottom, Annyong and a very famous frozen banana stand.
This stand is bananas
Michael: I burned it. Down to the ground.