14 November 2005

Fox Continues to Be Cock/Cunt-Tease

Lotsa bloggy types and trade media outlets have already been getting whiney about the supposed cancellation of Arrested Development. The only reason we didn't comment on this when the news of Fox cutting the episode order to 13 first hit the wire last week was quite simple: This has happened before. In fact, we expect this too, shall pass, only for the same thing to happen again in a fourth season (call us optimists). Being on the verge of cancellation has gone hand in hand with Arrested since its inception two and a half seasons ago. We're at a point where we simply refuse to freak until the threat of cancellation is much more than a threat. Indeed, we're used to this type of thing by now.

Having watched the show from the very beginning, we understand newer fans' consternation over every press release. One must learn to acknowledge that the show is endangered, and it's always been/ going to be that way. We're beginning to wonder if Fox just enjoys striking the fear of cancellation into fans so repeatedly. Perhaps in some convoluted attempt to gain press, Fox has made stupid move after stupid move with regard to this show, sabotaging their own efforts to drum up ratings at every turn:

-After the show gets several Emmy noms, Fox decides to change the night the show airs, confusing viewers.

-After Arrested wins one of the coveted statues for the second year in a row, Fox stops airing new episodes for a month in anticipation of November sweeps, further jeopardizing their tenuous chances of audience growth.

-During the pre-sweeps break in airing new eps, Fox does not air reruns of the show on Monday nights, denying Arrested a chance to further cement itself in the Monday lineup and annihilating any chances the show has to gain new/ "if you haven't seen it, it's new to you!" viewers.

-Fox then airs two new episodes during the first week of sweeps, blowing their load of new eps for two weeks in just one night, but promises new episodes to come in the approaching weeks.

-Fox says "just kidding," and shelves the rest of the new episodes set to air in place of reruns of Prison Break.

At this point, Fox has made it difficult for the show's fans to understand when they can watch the show, so forget about anyone new watching. Next thing you know, Arrested's only pulling in 4 million viewers, so Fox cuts the season in half, blaming everything but their own idiocy in handling the show.

And thusly, the cyclical outcries of frustration and anger return, as predictably as the waxing and waning of the moon. Who knows? Maybe the real tactic being employed is simply Fox trying to get the fan base low enough to feel justified in finally canceling such a lauded show. If they can get the die-hard fans to give up and embrace tripe like The War at Home as a replacement, then it won't look so much like they were the ones who drowned the puppy. It's what they did with Greg the Bunny and Family Guy. Of course, one of those two fared much better than the other, in the end.

There is no real point to this diatribe. It's just that it's Monday, which means Arrested would have aired tonight, but now it won't. Sure, we're bummed about that, and we'll be bummed when the show does, ultimately get cancelled. But, it hasn't yet. So, until it does, we'll keep watching it, despite Fox's best efforts to stop us. If you're a fan, you should do the same. And, if you're not a fan, you should be.


Anonymous said...

The funniest live action show on television, if Fox does give up on AD they are the worst bunch of execs working in network TV. Everybody knows they should be cancelling The War at Home and putting AD on Sundays where it belongs, along side The Simpsons and Family Guy. Idiots.

G. Lewis

LTNA said...

All true, friend. All true. Well, almost all true: I would modify by saying it's the funniest live action show on network teevee. Don't forget about HBO and FX. Their stuff is pretty...pretty...pretty...pretty good.