TCA: ‘Cavemen’ … take two

POSTED BY STUART LEVINE

You know how when a jury hears something they shouldn’t, and the judge asks them not to consider that piece of evidence in deliberations.

Gordonabctca_2Attorneys say no matter a judge’s instructions, you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Well, even though the pilot screened by critics isn’t actually the pilot to be shown later in the fall, you can’t put the “Cavemen” back in the, uh, cave.

So while the original pilot left many scribes underwhelmed, the public will never know what they missed.

With a new lead recast and a pilot being reshot because “it was too far into the development of the characters,” according to ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson, “Cavemen” still has other issues to face.

For example, a few critics felt the Cavemen were actually euphemisms for black people — the characters are superior athletes, are excluded from high-society events and looked upon as second-class citizens.

“We’re aware the pilot leans in that direction, but the characters don’t stand for one group,” explained exec producer Josh Gordon (pictured left).

“But is that a concern?,” asked exec producer Mike Schiff (pictured right). “Absolutely. Could it be an issue? Yes. But we want to show these stereotypes as incorrect.”

“This is a story about acclimation,” added co-exec producer Joe Lawson. “We write the stories from that Schiffabctca point of view.”

The show, which arrived at ABC very late in the development stage, is based on the popular Geico commercials. And, no, there are no plans for the gecko to appear in future episodes (and, yes, Allstate or other sponsors selling insurance are welcome to buy spots).

To get in proper Cavemen mode, the actors are in makeup for three hours every day and look nothing like the characters they play without their facial hair added. That might work to their advantage if the show doesn’t last, as they won’t be broad-brushed with a failed series. Though if it’s a hit, conversely, they may not be able to cash in.

“I’m not an attractive man, so to be hidden behind makeup is fine with me,” joked actor Nick Kroll.

— Stuart Levine

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