October 04, 2005 at 12:00 PM EDT

That old story about the cast of Fox’s Arrested Development paying for Ricky Gervais’ airfare to ensure his guest appearance on their low-rated sitcom? Well, it’s making the rounds (third item) on the Internet again, and while the show’s publicist says she hasn’t received any word that the star of HBO’s Extras is slated to join Charlize Theron as a third-season guest star, PopWatch is clinging to the rumor anyhow.

After all, even though it’s the funniest show on network TV, Arrested somehow continues to score ratings like a Betty Applewhite houseguest (in the cellar), and it’ll probably take more than an Emmy winner to save it from cancellation.

Which gets me to thinking? What other stunts can Fox, Arrested Development‘s cast, and the show’s fans pull to bring viewers to this neglected show? Maybe some cross-promotion on that little daytime show hosted by series star Portia DeRossi’s girlfriend? A nationwide sweepstakes involving magic tricks and frozen bananas? Or, better still, a cushy timeslot following the American Idol results show come January? Sure, that last option’s pretty much a pipe dream, but lest Fox execs forget, Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond weren’t instant hits, either.

What would you do to save this brilliant show?

addCredit(“Ricky Gervais: Kevork Djansezian/AP”)

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