Mitchell Hurwitz

Mitchell Hurwitz
Born (1963-05-29) May 29, 1963
Anaheim, California, United States
Occupation Television writer, producer, actor
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Mary Jo Keenen (m. 1999)
Children 2

Mitchell D. "Mitch" Hurwitz (born May 29, 1963) is an American television writer, producer, and actor. 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.

Early life

Hurwitz was born in 1963 to a Jewish[1] family in Anaheim, California. In 1976, when Hurwitz was 12, he co-founded a chocolate-chip cookie business, called the Chipyard, with his older brother, Michael, and his father, Mark. The Chipyard is still in operation in Boston.[2] He graduated from Estancia High School in Costa Mesa, CA, and from Georgetown University in 1985 with a double major in English and Theology.[3]

Early career

Hurwitz worked on several sitcoms in the 1980s and 1990s, including Nurses, The Golden Girls, The Golden Palace, The John Larroquette Show, The Ellen Show and the Michael J. Fox-produced pilot Hench at Home. He also created Everything's Relative, a midseason comedy starring Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Clayburgh for NBC in 1999.[4][5]

Arrested Development

Hurwitz was chosen by Ron Howard to create a sitcom about a rich dysfunctional family, which eventually turned into Arrested Development. Hurwitz wrote the pilot in 2002, which was filmed in March 2003. Fox added the show to its schedule in May. Although the show premiered to stunning reviews from television critics around the country, the show was plagued by low ratings throughout its three-season run. In July 2004, the show was nominated for 7 Primetime Emmy Awards and won 5, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

In the second season, ratings decreased further and the show was cut down to 18 episodes instead of the planned 22 episodes. Nevertheless, the show was still critically acclaimed and was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards.

In the show's third and final season on Fox, Hurwitz tried to keep Arrested Development on the air, but did not have the advertising funding to promote the series. The show was again cut down, from 18 episodes to 13. FOX announced the cancellation of the show before the production of the final five episodes.

After seven years off the air, Arrested Development returned for a fifteen-episode fourth season on the online movie and television streaming service Netflix on May 26, 2013.

Later projects


Hurwitz created FOX's animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up, based on an Australian TV series of the same name, for the 2008 season.

Hurwitz created Running Wilde, which aired for one season from 2010 to 2011. It was a collaboration with Arrested Development star Will Arnett.

Hurwitz signed a multiyear deal with Netflix in 2014.[6] He will be executive producing Flaked starring Will Arnett[7] and producing/co-creating Lady Dynamite starring Maria Bamford[8] for the network.


Among Hurwitz's projects have been the US television adaptations of the British comedy shows The Thick of It[9] (which was not picked up in the running for ABC's 2007–2008 TV season, though other networks such as HBO, Showtime and NBC have expressed interest)[10] and Absolutely Fabulous.[11]

My World And Welcome To It was a 2009 CBS television pilot, executive produced by Hurwitz, Jay Kogen, Kim Tannenbaum, and Barry Sonnenfeld. It was a comedy based on an earlier series My World and Welcome to It about being a dad in the 1960s which, in turn, drew material from James Thurber's collection of essays of the same name. Happiness Isn't Everything was also a 2009 CBS pilot, written by Hurwitz and Jim Vallely, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Jason Biggs, Ben Schwartz and Mary Steenburgen.[12]


Hurwitz co-starred as "Cool Eric" in an episode of Workaholics titled "Dry Guys." In this role, Hurwitz plays the clan's HR representative and is aiding them in their pursuit to become sober.

Hurwitz starred as "Koogler" in the Community episode "App Development and Condiments" (episode 8, season 5), which aired on March 6, 2014. He reprised that role in "Modern Espionage" (episode 11, season 6), which aired on May 19, 2015.

Personal life

Hurwitz is married to actress Mary Jo Keenen.[13] They have two daughters: May Asami, born in 2000,[14] and Phoebe Hitomi born in 2002.[15] The name of Arrested Development character "Maeby" was the result of combining the names of Hurwitz's daughters.[15]



  1. Vincent Brook, You Should See Yourself: Jewish Identity in Postmodern American Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2006), p.278.
  3. "The Georgetown Entertainment&Media Alliance". Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  4. Richmond, Ray (April 6, 1999). "Everything's Relative Review". Variety.
  5. Mink, Eric (April 6, 1999). "'Everything's Relative': Dysfunctional Family Fun". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  6. "Netflix Signs Mitch Hurwitz to Multiyear Deal, Plots New Series". Hollywood Reporter. April 22, 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  7. "Will Arnett Guru Comedy Series Ordered at Netflix (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. January 19, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  8. "Netflix Orders Maria Bamford Comedy Series From Mitch Hurwitz". Hollywood Reporter. June 19, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  9. Goodman, Tim (May 21, 2007). "Sometimes buzz about TV pilots is just a lot of hot air". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  10. "Rejected by ABC, political satire sparks interest". Reuters. June 4, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2007.
  11. Littleton, Cynthia (October 6, 2008). "Fox to redo 'Absolutely Fabulous'". Variety. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  12. "CBS TV pilots: 2009-2010". Variety. February 19, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  13. Potts, Kimberly (October 3, 2011). "'Arrested Development': 13 Things We Learned at the Bluth Family Reunion". Reuters. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  14. "May Asami "Maisie" Hurwitz". Variety. June 21, 2000. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  15. 1 2 Smith, Lynn (August 24, 2004). "`Arrested' faces the sitcom riddle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Arrested Development". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
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