Showtime: Pick-Up "Arrested Development"

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I have a problem: My favorite show just got axed. You have a problem: Showtime doesn't have all the subscribers it could have. So we both have problems, but I think there's a way that both of us can come out ahead by working together, and Showtime will be a hero to the whole industry.

I, like millions of people around the world, am a fan of the brilliant television show "Arrested Development". As a matter of fact, the term "fan" probably doesn't begin to describe my devotion to this show. I imagine that many at Showtime feel the same way. As you already know, the future of "Arrested Development" has never been worse. The Fox network has reduced this season's order to 13 episodes and taken it off the shedule during the critical sweeps period. At the moment, "Arrested Development" is not cancelled, but it's clear that's where Fox is heading. Despite winning universal critical praise, astonishing fan loyalty and numerous awards (including six Emmys), Fox apparently believes that their poor marketing and unfriendly scheduling was the most they could do to support the best and most inventive television comedy in years.

They've made a huge mistake.

For loyal fans, the news is grim, but there's one tiny ray of hope: Rumors persist that you at Showtime are considering picking up the show. For instance, an entry at http://www.tvsquad.com/2005/11/14/is-there-hope-for-arrested-development-after-all and a San Francisco Gate article at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/11/14/DDG4NFMUAI1.DTL both indicate that you may see Fox's bad decision as a golden opporunity for your network. Fox is cancelling "Arrested Development" because they are incompetent at selling comedy. You can do it better -- much better. With this one acquisition, you'll gain the best cast, the best writing and the best show anywhere on television.

But you'll gain so much more: You'll gain me. You see, I'm not currently a subscriber to Showtime, though I may be a subscriber to other premium networks. I certainly wouldn't mind getting Showtime but for one reason or another, I haven't yet. But if you pick up "Arrested Development", I'll become a Showtime subscriber.

Let me state that again for the record: I pledge that if you pick up "Arrested Development", I will subscribe to Showtime. I will call my cable or satellite provider and I will become a paying customer. Adding "Arrested Development" to the rest of your fine line-up of award-winning shows is the magic ingredient that changes Showtime from a channel I don't need to one I can't do without.

Please, Showtime, this is an opportunity that won't last very long. Some other network may pick "Arrested Development" up. Failing that, the cast, crew and writing staff will start getting very tempting offers and they have their futures to think of. But if you act quickly to give us back "Arrested Development", you'll gain me and every other signer of this petition as loyal and grateful customers, as well as everyone else who was waiting for Showtime to get that one extra show, that one extra 25 minutes of quality, before finally subscribing.

It's up to you, Showtime, be the good guys. You'll have me at "Annyong".