Dear Comedy Central and parent company MTV Networks,
The internet is buzzing today about how you’re slashing the budget for the not-even-officially-renewed-yet third season of The Sarah Silverman Program, to the point where you’re basically trying to cancel it. This is a big mistake. Big. Huge. The second season of The Sarah Silverman Program was one of the top 10 best TV shows of 2008, hands down, and it got tons of publicity and praise. I don’t know a single person who watched it who wasn’t astonished by how good it was, and how such an initially weird show managed to find its stride.
I’ve psychoanalyzed you, Comedy Central, and here are some Hard Truths you need to hear, Dr. Phil-style, to make you understand why dumping The Sarah Silverman Program would be a huge mistake.
1. You Don’t Know What You Have:
No offense, but The Sarah Silverman Program is too good for you, Comedy Central. It’s more of an HBO-quality comedy. (Ouch! But true.) It’s now the best thing you have going in prime time, South Park very much included.
2. You Can’t Do Better:
Do you know how hard it is to develop a new show? To listen to all the pitches, hire all the people, match it with the audience of an existing show for a lead-in, make a pilot, focus-group that pilot, greenlight it, publicize it, promote it, ETC ETC ETC. Of course you do. Now do you really want to go through all that with another show, only to see it fail like most of your shows do (often because you pull this exact same shit, but still)? The Sarah Silverman Program isn’t just a known quantity with very high ratings among 18-35 year old males, it’s a show that is getting better (and more publicity) with every episode. You really can’t afford to LOSE this show.
3. You’re Never Going To Find Another Chappelle:
On May 4, 2005, you got your heart broken into a thousand little pieces by dude named Dave Chappelle. We all understand what that must have been like to go through, and I’m not trying to diminish your pain. That totally sucked. But, deep down, you have to realize that Chappelle’s Show was both culturally and demographically unique. It was groundbreaking, brilliant, and it expanded your audience beyond your wildest imagination. And ever since then, you’ve been trying to recapture that same success in ways that have become increasingly obvious and, I’m sorry, desperate (Chocolate News?). You know how George W. Bush got us into a crazy war in Iraq to avenge his father, and how totally insane that was? Well, your development choices haven’t had the same consequences, obviously, but there is a little bit of that same kind of craziness in the mix. You’re holding potential new shows to the ridiculous standard Chappelle (and, to be fair, South Park) created, and not seeing them for who they are as complicated, individual shows. Chappelle was that first love, that first heroin dose or whatever and you’ve been chasing that dragon ever since. Just move on. Forget about Chappelle (a show which you almost didn’t even greenlight), and focus on allowing the best prime time show you have to continue to exponentially grow to its full potential. What I think you’ll find is a much deeper, more mature kind of love with a show that is probably not going to suddenly disappear and go crazy on you. And let’s face it: Jeff Dunham may give you huge ratings, but Sarah Silverman gives you some much-needed respect. Did I mention she’s too good for you as it is?
Just stop being a baby and throw some of that Blue Collar Comedy money you’re so secretly ashamed of at it. Or don’t. Whatever. If you dump her, she’ll end up with HBO anyway and won’t that be embarrassing!
To see what I’m talking about, watch The Sarah Silverman Program, which started being totally genius in its second season, so start there.