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20th TV is keeping hope alive

'Arrested' nearing full stop

The studio behind “Arrested Development” is admitting it’s finally over for the show — sort of.

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, 20th Century Fox Television acknowledged “AD” creator Mitch Hurwitz’s desire to call it quits (Daily Variety, March 28), yet held out hope the skein might one day return.

“While there are no plans to resume production at this time, we know all too well from our experience with ‘Family Guy’ — another brilliant comedy which didn’t find its audience in its first network run — that anything is possible,” the statement read. “We’ll always be a little hopeful that this is not quite the end for this amazing show.”

Indeed, 20th has made it clear to reps for the show’s thesps that the studio has no plans to release them from their deals any earlier than need be. It’s believed the studio’s option on the thesps runs through May.

Imagine TV topper David Nevins, whose studio produces “Arrested” with 20th, also seemed unwilling to completely let go.

“If it is really over, and I’m not quite sure that it is, the show’s been an incredible source of pride for Ron (Howard) and Brian (Grazer) and I,” he said, calling the skein emblematic of the “break-the-mold kind of TV show” that Imagine always aspires to produce.

While Nevins insisted there were “a few avenues left to explore” — “I wouldn’t write the obit,” he said — he conceded the writing was pretty much on the wall for “Arrested.”

Showtime and 20th had hammered out the broad outlines of a deal to move “Arrested” to the pay cabler, but Hurwitz — as well as some key cast members — seemed unsure whether it made sense to continue in series form.

Hurwitz, half-jokingly, said earlier this week that he might have continued had there been a financial incentive.

Studio said little about Hurwitz, other than noting the creator has “expressed his desire to move on from ‘Arrested Development,’ and we accept his decision.”

Statement added the studio was “grateful for the incredible passion which the fans and the critics have shown it from the beginning.”