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March 7, 2007 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | March 7, 2007 |

Dustin mentioned this on Monday, but this idiocy bears repeating — ABC has signed onto a pilot based on the Geico cavemen. The creatively entitled “Cavemen” will be about a couple of, umm, cavemen, who are trying to fight the prejudice they face living modern-day Atlanta as, umm, cavemen. … What the fuck? “Cavemen” is being written by the advertising copywriter behind the ads, and it’ll be exec-roduced by a bunch of guys, including the wonderful pair of yahoos responsible for the upcoming, and sure to suck, Blades of Glory. We all know that the best modern-day caveman was done over a decade ago by Phil Hartman, and he’s surely rolling in his grave over this nonsense.

Before turning our attention back to Pilot Watch 2007, let’s see what else is going on in TV land. For starters, ABC has yanked “The Knights of Prosperity” from its Wednesday night lineup, with no planned return in sight. The only surprise here, of course, is that it took them as long as it did. While I wasn’t loving the show, I was enjoying it well enough, and I’m sad to see it go, particularly as it’s being replaced with reruns of either “According to Jim” or “George Lopez,” and any decision that gives either of those shows more visibility is a terrible decision in my book.

Meanwhile, though “Knights” may be dead, it looks like there might be more life, in the form of a seventh season, for “Scrubs.” NBC has signed Zach Braff to a deal that’ll pay him a not-too-shabby $350K/episode should the network decide to renew the show (which seems increasingly likely). I actually have mixed feelings about this. I’ve loved “Scrubs” for a long time now, and while this season hasn’t been bad, I feel like it’s been dragging a bit, particularly in comparison with last season, which I thought was really top notch. But I guess even a crappy season of “Scrubs” is better than most else of what’s out there, so I’ll simply put this in the “win” column and move on.

Speaking of the win column, with February sweeps over, CBS is pretty psyched to have come out the big papa, continuing a trend — it’s won almost all of the sweeps periods over the last several years. Of course, CBS had a teensy bit of help from that Super Bowl thing, which averaged a whopping 93 million viewers, the third largest viewership in TV history. And … well, I’ve got nothing else to say about this, but I thought it was worth sharing.

Some good news this week for HBO fans: The network has greenlit a new seven-hour miniseries called “Generation Kill.” Based on a book by the same name, the series will tell the true-life story of Marines who were in Iraq during the early days of the current war (the book was written by a dude embedded with the troops back in 2003). What’s particularly exciting about this is that the miniseries is set to be co-written by David Simon and Ed Burns, who are responsible for the best thing TV has going for it right now, “The Wire.” And speaking of “The Wire,” some good news/bad news. Fans of the show will be bummed to learn that the upcoming fifth and final season is going to be a bit shorter than usual, as it’s set to only run for 10 episodes. But the good news is that we shouldn’t have to wait too long, as it’s set to start filming in the next couple of weeks. Better still, writer David Mills has a very interesting tease about the season, which will focus, at least in part, on the media and local Baltimore papers: “I can’t reveal anything about the storyline, except to say that it’ll surely be the funniest season ever of ‘The Wire’…if you like your humor dark. We’re talking the ‘Dr. Strangelove’ of police procedurals here.” I love my humor dark, and can’t wait to see what they give us for a sendoff.

And now, once again, we turn our eyes to the ever-marching-forward Pilot Watch 2007. It’s a bit early in the whole process for next season, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if NBC’s pilot “Business Class” gets picked up, it will be the single worst new “comedy” of the fall season. The show will be about what life on the road is like for two traveling salesmen who happen to be bitter rivals. Traveling salesmen who sell soda. One of the salesmen will be played by Mark Valley, whom I’m entirely indifferent to, as I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in anything (although I know word has been decent about his role on “Boston Legal”). But the other traveling salesman? Horatio Motherfucking Sanz. Case closed.

And since this roundup is already too damn long, let’s hit the rest of Pilot Watch 2007 in bullet form:

bullett.jpgLucy Liu is trying to break back into TV (you may recall that her big break came from a stint on “Ally McBeal”) by signing on to Darren Star’s ABC pilot, “Cashmere Mafia.” I believe I’ve previously mentioned the show, which is a real stretch for Star, seeing as how it’s about four career women in NYC dealing with dating and family issues. He’s just going to beat this one-trick pony into a pulpy mess, isn’t he?

bullett.jpgABC has also snagged William Baldwin (who’s not nearly as much fun as his fat-crazy brother Daniel or Christian-crazy brother Stephen) for “Dirty Sexy Money,” a show starring Peter Krause (!) as the employee of a rich family headed by Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh. I obviously don’t know if this show will be any good, but every time I see the title it makes me think of Warrant, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

bullett.jpgABC is also planning to bring over a UK reality show, “Too Big to Walk,” where a bunch of mega-fat asses took an eight-week, 500-mile hike. The network plans to Americanize it by making it a “bigger, bolder show” with “a lot more game play to it.” And to those who say it sounds like NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” ABC would like you to know that it’s going to be more positive, “fresh and different.” Whatever.

bullett.jpg NBC has signed Molly Shannon (feh!) and Natasha Richardson for “The Mastersons of Manhattan,” a show about two socialite sisters. The most interesting thing about this show is that it will also feature Brian Benben, formerly of the whipped-cream-on-tits-fest that was HBO’s “Dream On,” as the attorney for Shannon’s character (who is apparently facing murder charges).

bullett.jpgI’m a big fan of Jessalyn Gilsig (“Nip/Tuck,” “Heroes”) and welcome her potential return as a series regular (her last regular series was “Boston Public”). But I’m still not excited about the show she’s set to be in, “The Apostles.” This is a show I mentioned last week, about LA cops, and I just have trouble caring about any cop shows that aren’t called “The Wire.”

bullett.jpgBut I am interested in Paul Reuben’s possible return as a series regular in “Area 52,” for which he’s signed on to play the alien being kept in government confinement. It’s kind of the role he was born to play, unless someone comes up with a show about a guy who likes to unload his DNA in porn theaters.

bullett.jpgIn addition to the show about dead people rising that I told you about last week (“Pushing Daises,” the ABC show about a dude who can raise the dead), CBS is looking at “Babylon Fields,” a show about the dead coming back to life and getting back to their old lives. It’s set to star Amber Tamblyn as a chick who helps her mom kill her abusive father, only to see him zombie on back into their lives.

bullett.jpgLauren Ambrose has signed on to “The Return of Jezebel James,” the show from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino which is already set to star Parker Posey. And I still don’t care.

And finally, just a friendly reminder that “South Park” returns with new episodes on Comedy Central tonight. Also, about a week after each new episode airs, an uncensored version of the episode will pop up on iTunes. While that’s certainly convenient for those of you who don’t have the cable, I’m not sure the uncensored version is worth your money if you do have cable — not only is it easy to catch a rerun any of the five times Comedy Central re-airs it, but I’m assuming the only difference will be bleeping, and we all know that sometimes the bleeps are actually funnier than the underlying “shits” and “fucks.” Unless they plan for the uncensored version to include intimate scenes between Mrs. Garrison and his former gimp. That’ll totally be worth the price.


Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television columnist. These pretzels are making him thirsty.

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Seth Freilich

Industry | March 7, 2007 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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