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Oh, the joys (bleh!) of the awkward moments at the Television Critics Press Tour! Moments ago, the same newspaper reporter who asked Matthew Perry yesterday why David Schwimmer isn't "successful," asked this stunningly uncomfortable question of Keri Russell:
"Why are you doing a sitcom? Do you think you're funny?"
"It's the way you said sitcom," Running Wilde Mitch Hurwitz replied with a laugh to the question, which was asked in a roomful of reporters. "As if it were a crapcom."
Thankfully, Keri handled herself just fine (Atta girl! Who needs "Sally" for guidance?!) while promoting hew new Fox comedy. Running Wilde comes from the minds of Will Arnett (also starring in it) and Arrested Development boss Hurwitz. (Much more on that below.)
After the panel Q&A, Mitch graciously tackled my long-burning Q: What's up with the Arrested Development movie?
"We're writing it," Hurwitz reveals. "We're about halfway through...I think we will make this movie. The only stumbling blocks will be scheduling, if all of a sudden Jason [Bateman]'s got a movie out of town, and then we push it back."
When asked if every castmember is on board for the flick, Hurwitz let out a laugh: "Bateman gave an interesting quote which was kind of, ‘Yeah, Mitch is writing the script and then when we get it we're going to decide if we want to do it.' And I was like, ‘What's this? What's that again?' But no, he's a delight. He's the best. The only reason to do it...It's not gonna be a big moneymaker. It's just gonna be fun for us to be together and be a family reunion. So I think on that basis, everyone is going to want to do it."
Hurwitz says the movie is being written in a way that it can be shot quickly, possibly in 30 days, so as not to tie up the cast too long.
Now back to that "crapcom" joke. For the record, Running Wilde (which stars Arnett and Russell as a sort of modernized Dharma and Greg—with an Arrested vibe) is anything but.
The rough cut of the first episode we saw certainly has some flaws, but Arnett and Russell are as fantastic as you might hope, and we were told in detail how Wilde's sore spots are getting ironed out—including the "addition" of Arrested Development's David Cross as the environmental activist/ex-boyfriend to Keri's character.
"We wrote that part for David Cross," Mitch explained, "and really we were going to shoot it with David Cross. But because of that volcano no one could get out of London." Hurwitz says they're going to reshoot half of the pilot, and they're moving production from Vancouver to New York City.
"We wanted David 'cause he's hilariously funny and talented," Arnett added. "There was that thought of, ‘Is this too much Arrested Development on the show?' And we thought…F--k it. Or, fudge it. Let's do it."
The producers' goal with Wilde is to make a comedy that will be loved by critics and hardcore fans, as with Arrested, but that the public at large will actually watch. "We're glad to be trying to do something that appeals to a wider audience," Hurwitz explained. "If we can get an audience in, then more of our own subversion can come out."
Arnett admitted: "We're a little bit out of our comfort zone," and "we're really figuring this out as we go along."
Hurwitz also told us after the panel that he hopes to get his former Arrested stars on Running Wilde...in time.
"Eventually they all will [come on the show]," he vowed. "We were even talking about little by little feeding them in so that the finale is just the cast of Arrested Development."
Hear that? It's an explosion of Bluth goodness. Drink it up.
Follow me on Twitter @kristindsantos for all the news from the TCA Press Tour as it breaks.