Tuned In

Arrested Development Gets Torched

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Tonight, Fox airs its last four episodes of the Emmy-award-winning sitcom Arrested Development at 8 p.m. E.T. Barring the still — possible intervention of another network (most likely Showtime), they could be the last ever for this acerbic series about a wildly dysfunctional, wealthy real-estate family.

I’ve written enough on this subject that there’s no point in re-praising this show, or wondering again why a sitcom with the same spirit, intelligence and comic speed as The Simpsons never found the same audience. I’m even going to be charitable and say that, even if Fox didn’t always know how to promote AD, it did give it more opportunities to succeed than networks usually give a show this low-rated. But I will blame Fox for how it’s sending the show off, burning off the remaining episodes against the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies on NBC. They’ll be lucky if the cast members’ families watch.

My advice: skip the opening ceremonies. There’ll undoubtedly be lame jokes at the parade of nations; some head-scratchingly bizarre performance art symbolizing The Child of The Future Receiving Hope From The Spirit of Humanity or some crap like that; and you can catch up with it all later here on my blog. Instead, get your last glimpse — just for now, hopefully — of a series that, in the Olympic spirit, aimed higher, entertained stronger and joked faster than most sitcoms in history, but ended up playing to near-empty stadiums.