Happy Birthday, ‘Arrested Development’! Five Things You Didn't Know About the Pilot

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  • Michael Cera
    Michael Cera
    Canadian actor and singer
  • Ron Howard
    Ron Howard
    American actor
  • Michael Angarano
    Michael Angarano
    American actor

Holy Banana Stand! 13 years ago today, we first met the Bluth Family and learned how to accurately imitate a chicken. In honor of Arrested Development officially becoming a teenager, and a man in the Jewish tradition, we present Five Things You Never Knew About the Pilot…

#1. The first to be cast wasn’t a Bluth.
Before the roles of Michael, Lindsay, Buster, Gangie, George Senior, or Gob were cast, the producers first picked Alia Shawkat to play Maeby Fünke.

#2. Michael Cera was nearly replaced.
Because he was having trouble with his work visa, Michael Angarano was on standby to step in for Cera if he was deported to Canada. Cera had to fly to Tijuana, Mexico, to obtain a new visa and finish the pilot.

#3. Enron inspired the series.
Executive Producer and narrator Ron Howard wanted to make a network comedy in the style of a reality TV series, so he met with several producers and writers. When Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz suggested a “riches to rags” story in the vein of the Enron scandal, Howard ran with the concept.

#4. Two characters weren’t supposed to be major players.
George Senior wasn’t supposed to make it past the pilot and would spend the rest of his time offscreen and in prison, and Tobias Fünke was written as a only minor side player, but when you cast Jeffrey Tambor and David Cross, you use them.

#5. Ron Howard cast his babysitter in an important role.
Howard had a dream actress in mind for Lucille #2, but never thought she’d take the part. But when he personally asked Liza Minnelli, his babysitter when he was a child and she was a teen, to play the part, she naturally agreed.

Ron Howard On ‘Arrested Development’ Season 5: ‘Definitely in the Incubator’…

Tell us what you think! What’s your favorite episode of Arrested Development? It’s “Good Grief!” with all the Charlie Brown references, right? Right. Either way, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Khail Anonymous, on Twitter.