Question: I've really been enjoying Extras, but it seems like I never hear anything about the show. Why has HBO put so little effort into promoting it? Do you think it's because it's not their own production? Or because there aren't that many episodes? I saw ads for Unscripted and The Comeback all over the place and neither of those shows was nearly as good as this one. Whenever a network attempts to remake a British show, there are always scores of people complaining because they don't just air the U.K. originals. Now that a network finally is, it seems like the show is going completely unnoticed.
Answer: It would make sense to me if HBO, as I expect, spent most of its promotional energy this fall, once Rome was up and running, to trumpet the long-awaited return of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I'm loving Extras and agree HBO had some real opportunities to exploit the hilarious cameos by Kate Winslet and Ben Stiller, but much like Ricky Gervais' original The Office, it's still something of a cult item. And the reason it (and Curb, to a large degree) is going unnoticed is because, simply put, HBO no longer owns the water cooler on Sunday night anymore. ABC now controls the buzz with Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and even Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and without anchor shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the City, HBO is hurting for attention and for viewers. I'm fascinated to see what will happen when The Sopranos finally makes its way back on TV, and whether HBO chooses to keep it on Sundays, when ABC still has so much momentum on that night. But the good news is that BBC and HBO have already announced there will be more Extras episodes to come, and if it stays our well-kept and delicious secret, I'm OK with that. (And, please, god, don't let NBC get it in its head to try to remake this one!)