See 10/4 update below...
Some things just aren't meant to be, and ABC's Cavemen, premiering tonight, is one of them.
When the news first broke that the GEICO ads would be made into a sitcom, I scratched my head in doubt. There was lots of positive buzz for a while, but media buyers who had seen the pilot (including one of my clients TargetCast) pretty much panned it. TargetCast called it a one-joke show that would get tired quickly.
People are already tiring of the chip-on-their-shoulders cavemen in the ads themselves, so the idea of watching 30 minutes of their attitude every week just doesn't make sense. MediaLife today agrees, in a story headlined "Cavemen headed off to the stone age."
Comedian George Lopez, whose sitcom was axed by ABC, has expressed his dismay. ‘So a Chicano can’t be on TV, but a caveman can?’ he asks.
Evidently not for long, George, not for long.
Update 10/4 from ODwyer's PR blog:
“Cavemen,” the ABC sitcom based on Geico’s advertising “icons,” opened to strong numbers on Oct. 2 only because viewers wanted to see how awful the program is. They were not disappointed.
The sitcom is so bad that one fears Geico’s PR image could be tainted by association. How could these obnoxious characters serve as the stars of Geico’s advertising? What was management thinking?
Advance “buzz” treated Cavemen as one of TV biggest bombs. ABC revamped the program in a bid to salvage the show. The Walt Disney Co. unit didn’t do enough.
This blogger—forgetting his beloved Mets were no longer playing baseball—turned on the tube Tuesday night, stumbled upon Cavemen and sat through the first-half of the program.
Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert had it right.
"The question regarding the series has never been “Will it be good?” so much as “Just how bad will it be?” And the answer is, Cavemen is pretty bad. It’s definitely among the stalest pieces of bread in the loaf….And it’s certainly the most tasteless.”
Slate’s Troy Patterson wrote of the show featuring a trio of slacker Neanderthals living in San Diego,
“One suspects that Cavemen will be gone from the schedule soon enough, but how long will the network’s zany experiments in packaging yuppie-male anxiety grind on.”