×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC developing ‘Cavemen’

Comedy pilot based on Geico ads

Winner for most unusual piece of development this pilot season goes to ABC, which has turned a series of quirky Geico commercials into an actual half-hour comedy project.

Cavemen” will revolve around three pre-historic men who must battle prejudice as they attempt to live as normal thirtysomethings in modern Atlanta.

Project, from ABC TV Studio, is penned by Joe Lawson, an advertising copywriter who was behind the “Caveman” ads — as well as other Geico commercials (think the cockney-speaking Geico gecko, and the reality TV spoof “Tiny House”).

Daniel Rappaport, Guymon Cassady, Will Speck and Josh Gordon are exec producers. Speck and Gordon, commercial directors who recently helmed the Will Farrell feature “Blades of Glory,” are on board to also direct.

The single-camera laffer pilot is based on the Geico ads that promote the insurance company’s Web site as so user-friendly that even “a caveman could do it.” The spots follow cavemen in modern settings, reacting with offense to the derogatory slogan. In one, a Geico spokesman apologizes and takes the Neanderthals out to dinner.

Other blurbs include the sensitive, modern cavemen peeved at the offending slogan while encountering Geico ads in everyday life, including the airport.

The caveman commercials were created through the Richmond, Va.-based Martin Agency. Jeff Daniel Phillips and Ben Weber play the cavemen in the Geico spots; no word if they’ll make the transformation to the TV project.

Few TV shows have come out of the commercial sphere; more frequently, TV characters live on in 30-second spots long after their shows are canceled (think “ALF”).

But it’s not without precedence: The 2002 CBS comedy “Baby Bob” revolved around a talking baby character that was first seen in a series of dot.com ads. After the Eye canceled “Baby Bob,” the character returned to its commercial roots, spending time as a pitchman (pitchbaby?) for Quizno’s Subs.

More TV

  • Mr. Peanut to Appear in His

    Mr. Peanut to Appear in His First Super Bowl Commercial

    The monocle-wearing Mr. Peanut is about to offer snack fans an entirely new lens on Super Bowl advertising. Planters, which has featured the anthropomorphic legume for more than a century as its spokes-character, will place him in a 30-second ad slated to appear in the second quarter of CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl LIII on [...]

  • DRG Boards Sales on Scandi Sci-Fi

    DRG Boards Sales on Scandi Sci-Fi Mystery Series ‘The White Wall’

    Scandinavian sci-fi series “The White Wall” is coming to the international market, starting at NATPE, after DRG picked up international rights to the upcoming project. Finland’s Fire Monkey and Nice Drama, part of the Nordic Entertainment Group, are making “The White Wall” for Swedish pubcaster SVT and its Finnish counterpart, YLE. It will feature a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • R. KellyR. Kelly in concert at

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Producers on the Lifetime Doc's Ripple Effect

    The ripple effect of “Surviving R. Kelly” continues to widen more than a week after the documentary aired on Lifetime, renewing public interest — and outrage — over the litany of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B artist. Lady Gaga and Phoenix have apologized for working with him. Chance the Rapper and other artists are said to [...]

  • Yellowstone

    Viacom Lays Off Paramount Network Staffers Amid Reorganization (EXCLUSIVE)

    Viacom has laid off a number of staffers in its entertainment group, with the majority of the affected employees hailing from Paramount Network, Variety has learned exclusively. A Viacom spokesperson declined to comment. But a source with knowledge of the situation that the number of affected employees was fewer than 20, or less than 2% of [...]

  • The Last OG

    TV News Roundup: 'Last O.G.' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date on TBS

    In today’s TV News Roundup, “The Last O.G.” announces its Season 2 return date and Variety has the exclusive first look at Fox’s new legal drama “Proven Innocent.” FIRST LOOKS Netflix has announced its new limited series “Black Earth Rising” will launch on Jan. 25. The contemporary thriller series stars Michaela Coel as Kate Ashby, a Rwandan girl [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content