Is 'Running Wilde' 'Arrested's Heir Apparent?

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Well, that depends who you ask.

Creator Mitchell Hurwitz is clearly tired of all the Arrested Development comparisons to his new show, Running Wilde. That much was apparent as he participated in a Q&A panel following the premiere screening of Wilde’s second episode at the New York Television Festival on Saturday.

Hurwitz acknowledged the comparisons that have been made “about a thousand times in the press” right off the bat, though you can forgive some for noticing similarities: There are many familiar faces in Wilde, in addition to Hurwitz there’s writer James Vallely and actors Will Arnett and David Cross.

But Hurwitz acknowledged not being able to please everyone, saying, “Fox thinks it’s still too much like Arrested Development, and critics think it’s not enough.”

You can see why the diplomatic, the-network-cuts-my-paychecks side of him would want to downplay the comparisons, since Arrested was canceled after three seasons, having never achieved the necessary ratings and viewers to sustain a broadcast show, despite its critical acclaim and cult following.

When asked by an audience member if viewers of Running Wilde could expect the same sort of foreshadowing they saw in Arrested, Hurwitz answered with a cryptic “If I say yes, wouldn’t I be doing exactly what Fox told me not to do?”

Arrested Development didn’t work in the ratings because of its complexity, so we have to bury that,” Hurwitz said.

But Arnett, who is also a writer on the series, clarified that they do want to reward people for watching the show, the way they did with Arrested, so that is a common theme of Wilde.

To which Hurwitz of course replied, “No it’s not.”

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