As if Hollywood executives didn’t have enough to worry about with the upcoming writers strike and the wildfires that are burning up all their prized possessions and assistants, it appears as if this year’s crop of fall TV shows is a total disaster. Though few shows have been out-and-out bombs — with the exception of Viva Laughlin, which actually exploded and, tragically, killed dozens of people — there also have been few hits, with only Private Practice and Samantha Who? getting better-than-decent ratings. NBC’s Bionic Woman has dropped like a stone in the ratings department and could be facing extinction. Even returning hits like Heroes are suffering a ratings decline.
And how do the suits react? They order new scripts for basically every single series on the network lineup … except for the one scripted show we actually get excited about every single week, ABC’s much-maligned Cavemen.
Will Cavemen be canceled? Everyone seems to think so, although no one can quite say why. The ratings aren’t great, but they aren’t totally awful, either. At least, they’re better than Cane. Mediaweek speculates that part of the issue is that Cavemen, unlike most ABC shows, skews heavily male, but we don’t understand why that’s a problem. We’re good enough to drive the entire summer movie season, but not good enough for TV?
Cavemen is preempted this week (for It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) but returns next Tuesday night with an episode called “The Shaver.” In it, caveman Nick becomes convinced that his neighbor is actually a Cro-Magnon who shaves his arms to appear Homo sapien. It was hilarious when we suspected our high-school Spanish teacher of a similar charade, and it will likely be even more hilarious in the capable hands of Cavemen’s crack writing team. We’ll be watching (TiVo-ing, at least), and we hope that you will be too. The crusade must continue! Save Cavemen!