It looks like hands-down the best show anywhere on television (and probably the best show anywhere on television in years) i struggling on its last legs. Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter and just about every other media outlet are reporting that Fox has pulled Arrested Development for the remainder of November sweeps and also cut down its season order from a full 22 to just 13 episodes. (Here's the HR story via CNN.com for those non-trade scubscribers.) Gail Berman (former Fox chief who's now head of production at Paramount) was a big backer of the series, but with her gone, this isn't such a big surprise. And you can't completely blame Fox, other than stupid ass scheduling and never letting the show really plant roots and grow in any one time slot. They did renew it twice.
Still, you know whose fault it is? YOURS! That's right. I blame (and hate) everyone who doesn't watch this show. And if somehow you manage to have Nielsen box and don't watch, I hope your TV explodes and your replacement gets stuck on Discovery Wings (unless you're a big war history fan, in which case, I hope you get stuck on Noggin). What Fox SHOULD be doing, since they produce the show in house along with Imagine Television, is work to sell the damn thing to a cable outlet -- USA or even HBO. Comedy Central? (Probably too pricey a production for them.) Or keep it within the News Corp. family and air it on FX. They still haven't gotten the half-hour comedy right -- both of their new half-hours this season blew. If Showtime was smart, they'd pick the damn thing up, finally giving them a show that actually can rival anything on HBO. (I really enjoyed Weeds -- at least I think I did. Could just be my perennial crush on Mary Louise Parker. And Huff got progressively better as its season continued. But Showtime still doesn't hold a candle to the majority of HBO's fare.) On any of those cable nets, Arrested devoted audience would likely follow, and the numbers they get on Fox would be huge.
Please, please, please don't let this show die. Please, please, please spread the word to people that when it returns in December, to give it a chance, and by a chance, I mean more than once to get into the flow. Go Netflix the DVDs. Or buy them. Or something. But before anyone criticizes television, you better be watching the most sophisticated, witty and cleverly written series there is, otherwise, shut your mouth.
That's right ... I'm pissed.