Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Good to see that Mitch Hurwitz, whose show Arrested Development faced limp ratings and seemed perpetually on the brink of cancellation — until it actually was canceled — has a sense of humor about it all. The producer has penned a piece for The Guardian that explains how to get a sitcom canceled, and it’s a fun little read. Check out a few pointers after the jump.
Here are a few good selections; read the whole piece at The Guardian.
Have a confusing title
Come up with an unwieldy title that perhaps comes from the realm of psychology, so that the title of your show is almost instantly forgettable. For example, if you were to call the show Welcome Matt, an audience could immediately understand the concept: this must be a character named Matt and he must either be a welcoming person or stepped on. If you call a show Arrested Development it’s confusing and sufficiently disorientating to guarantee that a wide audience never discovers the fruits of your labor.
Audiences love fast cars and exciting vehicles
So see if you can put in some heavy machinery like a stair-car, that isn’t easily associated with speed or sex appeal.
Add a sprinkle of incest
They’ll never admit it, but viewers love sex. In fact, they love any sort of titillation, with the exception of incest. So focus on that.
First impressions are everything
So if you can screw that up, you’re made. With Arrested Development, we tried showing the deep disdain that connects a family. We wanted to hold up a mirror to American society. And, just as predicted, America looked away.
Audiences like nicely dressed characters. They also enjoy nudity
Split the difference by putting your character in a pair of cut-offs and call him a Never-Nude. Advanced: feel free to dip him in a vat of blue paint. That’s a real turn-off.