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More ahead for Bluths if TV creator has his way

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MONTREAL -- Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz isn't finished yet with the dysfunctional Bluth family.

He's not exactly sure what will happen next, which is appropriate for such an unpredictable comedy.

"We're trying to figure that out," he said in an interview at the Just For Laughs comedy festival, where he addressed members of the entertainment industry.

"The next thing that might happen, it's not wholly up to me, but I'd like to get the whole cast together, do some sort of movie to finish the story that we've told. We already have the way that would go into another season on Netflix."

The current season was originally conceived as a series of webisodes, which eventually developed into 15 shows of around 30 minutes each. Hurwitz compared the way the story unfolds to the way a novel does -- "one big story that will slowly come together."

Arrested Development follows the bumbling Bluths, whose levels of self-absorption veer into the bizarre for rib-tickling results.

It had a short, three-season run on network television before being cancelled in 2006 and replaced by the largely now-forgotten Pamela Anderson comedy Stacked.

Arrested Development, however, had developed a rabid and vocal fan following even if it didn't immediately translate into ratings. Other people engaged with the show on DVD and demands for more episodes followed.

It is one of the few instances of a show being brought back from the dead because of fan demand, the other most notable recent example being the crude cartoon The Family Guy, which was spurred by DVD sales.

Hurwitz said the cast is open to continuing the Bluths' story.

"Everybody's game," he said. "It's their show too. Everybody feels very proprietary about it and that's a fortune too, that I don't have to feel that I'm asking for a favour. It's fun for all of us."

In the meantime, he said he believed it is likely that 20th Century Fox will release a DVD of the fourth season.

"I'm going to do some fun things to that," said Hurwitz, who is receiving an award at the Montreal festival as comedy writer of the year.

Arrested Development, which has been known for breaking ground with its innovative ways of telling its stories, scored another innovation recently when it and the Netflix political drama House of Cards were nominated for Emmys in major categories.

It was the first time that's happened since web content was allowed into contention in 2008.

Star Jason Bateman, who plays hapless Michael Bluth, was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Other nominations are for outstanding music composition and outstanding single-camera editing for a comedy series.

"We were so happy that Jason got acknowledged for his great work and really that the Emmys considered Netflix at all," Hurwitz said, adding the production isn't in it for the awards.

"We're doing it for the fans."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 27, 2013 G10

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