CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX has picked up its freshman comedy "Arrested Development" for a full season of 22 episodes. The news was announced via press release this morning.
The series had recently been named the "Fall's Best New Sitcom" by Time Magazine, the "Best New Comedy" by Entertainment Weekly, the "smartest and sharpest comedy of this � or last � season" by TV Guide and the "funniest new comedy on the fall schedule" by US Weekly, among others according to the network.
In addition, FOX has scheduled a mini-marathon of four episodes of the series for Wednesday, December 31 beginning at 8:00/7:00c. The cast is expected to shoot wraparound segments for the event.
Despite all the good news, "Arrested" has struggled in the ratings, averaging 6.8 million viewers and a 3.0 rating/7 share among adults 18-49 through three airings. Even worse, last Sunday's episode lost 3.4 million viewers from lead-in "Malcolm in the Middle" (9.2 million vs. 5.8 million) its worst retention rate (63.04%) to date.
"Arrested Development," a co-production of Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Televisionm is executive produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Mitch Hurwitz.