Dan Snierson
March 07, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dear Powers that be on Cable,

What up? I know I’ve written to you many times before (props for retiring Taildaters, MTV), but I come today with a most heartfelt plea: Would one of you please pick up Arrested Development if and when Fox decides to drop it at the end of this season?

Despite critics’ raves and industry validation (an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy; Jason Bateman’s Golden Globe), this bizarro series about the ultra-dysfunctional Bluth family still hasn’t managed to attract a mass audience (ranked No. 100, it averages a mere 6 million viewers per week). And now Fox has trimmed the show’s episode order to 18, which makes me a little nervous. An incredibly limber cast, mathematically intricate story lines, brainy-bawdy laughs — you can see why this thing has broadcast-network disaster written all over it!

But wouldn’t it feel oh-so-right for you, cable guys? It’s already got a loyal fan base that could spell H-I-T in your ratings universe. HBO, couldn’t you use a twisted companion comedy for Curb Your Enthusiasm? Showtime, isn’t it time you started competing with HBO in the funny department? USA, you’re scoring with material both weird and neurotic on Monk, so why not double your pleasure? FX, you’re nailing the edgy dramas, so why not try the only comedy that’s brave enough to concoct a plot twist about a photo of a man’s private parts being confused for WMDs in Iraq? Look, this isn’t about you and your bottom lines — it’s about saving one of the first great comedies of the new millennium. I know you’ll make the right decision. Thanks (and keep up the nudity and swearing)!

Dan Snierson

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