Mitchell D. Hurwitz (born May 29, 1963) is an American television writer and producer. He is best known as the creator of the television sitcom Arrested Development as well as the co-creator of The Ellen Show, and a contributor to The John Larroquette Show and The Golden Girls.
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Comedy, TV Land Future Classic Award, WGA Award for Best Comedy/Variety – Music, Awards, Tributes – Specials – Television
Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Comedy Series, Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television – Comedy
Arrested Development, Running Wilde, Sit Down, Shut Up, The Ellen Show, Everything’s Relative, Lady Dynamite, Happiness Isn’t Everything
When I was on ‘The Golden Girls,’ we’d have eight scenes per show. And when ‘Seinfeld’ came along, they went to, like, 30 scenes a show, which was revolutionary. ‘Arrested Development’ has probably got 60 scenes per show. It just keeps emerging as this more and more complex thing. I always try to keep it very simple at its heart.
There’s real peril in trying to repeat yourself, and apply rules that applied to something else to a new project.
Television is a very writer-driven business, and it’s one of the few parts of entertainment where writers are treated with respect, only because they need you. If they didn’t have to treat you with respect, they would be happy to dismiss you.
Shows don’t reunite because television doesn’t work that way. There’s no profit model and people go off to do other work.
What’s realistic to me is that families love each other and stand by each other. What’s unrealistic is that they would ever say that.
When you don’t have a laugh track, you can make the clothes funny. We can make a sign funny. We can make the way somebody walks funny. The makeup can be funny.
When we were making ‘Arrested Development,’ it was the hardest thing I’d ever done. You know, nobody was watching. We weren’t getting feedback. The job wasn’t paying very well. But the one thing I did feel confident about was: No one will ever be able to do this again. Because no one would be stupid enough to try.
It’s like, if I had the luxury of choice, and didn’t have to worry about making a living, I would definitely want to get into whatever field it was that allowed me to push further and further comedically. Because that’s the joy of it.
Something about not waiting for the laugh of a laugh track allows you to take lines that otherwise might be seen as just direct jokes, and make them seem realistic.
You know, ‘The Golden Girls’ was a very unusual show to start on. I was young, and it was a show about old people, and it was a very traditional show, but it was also an amazing training ground for a joke-writer. It forced me to learn those skills.
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.
[on the resurrected ‘Arrested Development’ series, 2013] Don’t feel compelled to watch it all at once. It’s wonderful and flattering that anyone would want to – I don’t take any of that for granted. But comedy requires something of the human body. I hope people are laughing, but you can get tired of laughing. So really, it’s OK with us if you take your time. That’s the whole thing with Netflix. Do with it what you want. It’s yours now.
He attended and graduated from Estancia High School in Costa Mesa, California.