First hitting screens for a quiet three-season run in 2003, Arrested Development was picked up for a further two seasons by streaming giant Netflix in 2013, which has gained the show a huge fandom!
1) Tobias and George Bluth were going to be small parts
When the writers initially mapped out the concept for the series, Tobias Funke and George Bluth weren’t going to be major roles. However, when they saw the brilliance of the characters brought to life by David Cross and Jeffrey Tambor, they knew they had to give the two characters much meatier roles.
2) A replacement actor was on standby in case Cera got deported
When the cast were filming the pilot, Michael Cera was having some issues with his work permit, and had to fly to Mexico at one point to get it renewed. In case the authorities came to deport him, the casting team had an actor on standby to replace him.
One of the most memorable guest stars on the show was Charlize Theron, who played Michael’s love interest Rita. A photo is shown of Rita before her plastic surgery, it’s actually a picture from the film Monster, which landed Charlize Theron an Oscar. Theron played murderer Aileen Wuornos, and had to bulk up considerably for the role.
4) An old Happy Days rivalry
Henry Winkler plays the Bluth family’s lawyer, Barry Zuckercorn, throughout the series. Winkler is famous for playing The Fonz on Happy Days. Towards the end of Happy Days, when The Fonz was getting older, the show introduced Scott Baio in the role of Chachi – the new cool guy on the scene! In Arrested Development, the Bluth family switches to lawyer Bob Loblaw at one point. Loblaw is played by Chachi actor Scott Baio. Hence why he says, ‘This isn’t the first time I’ve been called to replace Zuckercorn.’
5) Ron Howard outlasted the pilot
Ron Howard was only supposed to be the show’s narrator for the pilot. It got to the last minute and no one had been cast as narrator, so Ron Howard filled the slot. But his voice fit so well, he narrated the next five seasons!
6) The banana stand was based on the creator’s childhood business
‘There’s money in the banana stand!’ The Bluth banana stand is one of the most memorable parts from the series. Mitchell Hurwitz, who created the series, based the stand on a chocolate chip cookie stand he’d set up with his brother and father as a young teenager.
7) David Bluth was asked to play Buster
When the casting crew original reached out to David Cross, they had him in mind for the youngest Bluth brother, Buster. But after he read the role of Tobias Funke, Cross decided that was the only role for him.
8) Fans didn’t like Season 4’s reformatting
When season 4 initially landed on Netflix, it was in an entirely different format, where eat episode focused on a different character. This is because most of the actors’ schedules didn’t allow them to film together. Due to some backlash from fans of the show, Netflix recut the season to follow the show’s original format, which results in more episodes (of shorter length).
There you have it – 8 pieces of Arrested Development trivia!