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May 01, 2005

Is This Guerilla?

There's a sitcom on television that I love, it's called Arrested Development, and it's on Fox. This show is really damn funny, creative, original and it even wins Emmys (five, this year). For a show that has so many positives going for it, it has one glaring negative... viewership. It's either Fox doesn't know how to promote a show without a built-in audience (see American Idol) or this show is just over the heads of millions of television viewers.

It's low enough in ratings that Fox is considering canceling the show. I've seen this before, no thanks to Fox for canceling Futurama.

When good shows like this are on the bubble, fans usually unite in an effort to keep the show going. It's never a sure-fire thing, but it did work for Ed over on NBC, they somehow got one more season. These efforts are usually publicly available over at petitiononline.com.

So, Arrested Development is on the bubble. But this time, instead of seeing a group of fans create a site, Fox went ahead and created their own site. The site is called Get Arrested. On this site you can sign a pledge saying you're going to be a faithful viewer every Sunday night when the show is on – and pick up a coupon for the Season One DVD in the process. You can also send it on to a friend and/or sign up to receive email news.

Is the fact that Fox realized a potential error and made a site dedicated to it good marketing? Is the pledge count real, or are they just wanting to see how much traffic the site can generate? And will this affect whether or not the series is canceled? What does everyone think?

I, personally, don't know. But the fact that I'm writting about it right now says something.


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I think it seems like a half-hearted attempt. If they really wanted to push it full steam they have the power to do it, but just a clever website will do it. They don't need current viewers to pledge to watch the show. They need new viewers to discover it and a website necessarily does this.

Maybe it will end up like Family Guy. After it's gone people will finally realize how genius it really is.

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