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Arrested Development Fans Took Their Dedication To A New Level To Save The Show

By the estimation of Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, cult classic sitcom "Arrested Development" grew considerably in popularity during the time following the cancellation of its original run on Fox. That said, even when its first three seasons were on the air, the series was, at the very least, a critical success. The series' cast and crew alike were nominated for Emmy awards each year the show was on Fox. Season 1 and Season 3, meanwhile, hold 100% aggregate critical scores on Rotten Tomatoes. (Season 2 sits at 94%.)

The ongoing popularity of "Arrested Development" even in the wake of its cancellation ultimately resulted in its revival on Netflix. "Arrested Development" Season 4 premiered in 2013, just over seven years after the conclusion of its third season. A remixed version of Season 4 followed in 2018, before Season 5 premiered shortly after. As it currently stands, the fifth season of "Arrested Development" is its last (via IndieWire).

While the success of "Arrested Development" with critics and Emmy Award voters certainly didn't hurt its case, the series' revival was also the focus of a fervent fan campaign that, if nothing else, proved that the series' fan base was sizable and passionate. The fight to secure the renewal of "Arrested Development" wasn't as simple as an online petition or coordinated social media outcry, however, but involved fake websites, shipping fruit in the mail, and more.

There's always money in the show about the banana stand

The first three seasons of "Arrested Development" feature a number of websites that sometimes prove important or, more often than not, act as a sort of punchline. Fox registered many of those websites so that real-life fans visiting URLs featured in the show could experience an approximation of what a member of the Bluth family might see when doing so (via The Daily Dot). One website mentioned on the show but not published by Fox was SaveOurBluths.org. The website's inception occurs in the series' third season, when the show's cancellation was already on the horizon. In-fiction, the website is intended to raise money for the declining Bluth family. Its inclusion in the script, however, also seems to be something of a nod from its writers to encourage fans at the time to save "Arrested Development."

At least one fan took the nudge from the writers to heart and created a SaveOurBluths.org fan site. Fans also built a simulacrum of lawyer Bob Loblaw's Law Blog, likewise mentioned in the show (its comedy as straightforward as its tongue-twister of a name).

While these fake websites indicated significant fan engagement with the series, some fans took things a step further and sent crates of bananas to executives at Fox (via TV Insider). The bananas were, as those familiar with the series are aware, a reference to the Bluth Family Frozen Banana Stand, an ongoing fixture of "Arrested Development." Other fans simply sent in letters sans bananas.

Whether or not the renewal of "Arrested Development" required a canonical fan site and a shipment of bananas is now a moot point, given that Seasons 4 and 5 of "Arrested Development" are now a part of our reality.