Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle
offers a carrot of faint hope to the nation's four million broken-hearted Arrested Development
fans. Two carrots, actually.
Q: Can anything be done to save the show?
A: Yeah, find some Nielsen friends and start watching when the show returns to finish its run Dec. 5.
Other than that, not much. But listen, there are people inside Fox who adamantly believe (perhaps foolishly) that a miracle could happen. And here's the scenario for that: No freshman series is a bona fide hit, and shows like "Stacked" are tanking. Come May, when Entertainment President Peter Ligouri assembles his executives and puts the pieces together for next season's schedule, he just may look down the bench at "Arrested Development" and decide to keep it as a gem that can be shifted to a better night (DVD sales and Emmy lustre helping to offset the dire ratings).
Q: What are the chances someone else will pick up the series and save it?
A: Not good. "Arrested Development" would be a lovely addition to HBO, but the pay cable channel has said it will take no one's "sloppy seconds." Given the poor ratings and expensive per-episode price tag, no network or basic cable channel is likely to make a play for it. However, there is an intriguing rumor of a suitor: Showtime.
This idea actually makes sense. Showtime has been making great strides in its programming department, but the audience is still lacking. A name series that might prompt die-hard fans (are there any other kind left for "AD"?) to subscribe would be an enticing option. The idea is that "AD" might pair well with "Weeds." And no matter how you get it -- by developing it yourself or snatching it fully built off the discard pile -- a great series is a great series, period.
I said it was faint hope. But it's still hope.
are still on sale for $32 total at Amazon. DVD sales brought back Family Guy
-- so if you've been on the fence about buying the seasons or if you've never watched the show, today is your day to do your part to save television's finest half-hour program.
Consider it a belated birthday present for me. (In fairness, you didn't get me anything.) Trust me, you'll be glad you did.