Cavemen Continues to Tank

Just because I like to watch a TV show go down in flames exactly the way I predicted, here are the ratings for "Cavemen" for every week its been on so far:

Week Viewers Rating/Share

10/2 8.98 3.3/10
10/9 7.0 2.5/8
10/16 6.92 2.7/ 8
10/23 6.55 2.2/ 6

Here is how the ratings work (courtesy Wikipedia):

Nielsen Television Ratings are reported by ranking the percentage for each show of all viewers watching television at a given time. As of August 27, 2007, there are an estimated 112.8 million television households in the USA. A single national ratings point represents 1%, or 1,128,000 households for the 2006-07 season. Share is the percentage of television sets in use tuned to a specific program. These numbers are usually reported as (ratings points/share). For example, Nielsen may report a show as receiving a 9.2/15 during its broadcast, meaning 9.2%, or 10,377,600 households on average were tuned in at any given moment. Additionally, 15% of all televisions in use at the time were tuned into this program. Nielsen re-estimates the number of households each August for the upcoming television season.

So as you can see, the numbers above, translate into pure crap for ABC. And as we've already mentioned, the only reason why the show is still on the air is that thanks to the impending strike, the network doesn't have anything to fill the empty void if they yanked it.

But it still feels good to know that my gut feelings were right on this show.


Anonymous said...

I actually like "Cavemen." I find it very enjoyable and entertaining. Although you are allowed your own opinion, of course, I think most people like you only hate the show because you predicted it would tank and want to be proven right. I'll admit, I didn't think it would survive past the first episode, either. But I gave it a chance and I'm glad I did. Maybe if you watched it with a completely open mind you could find it enjoyable, too.

Anonymous said...

I agree with my fellow anonymous one above.
I read, I don't know how many similarly worded posts that all chanted an "it sucks" mantra...before the first episode even aired(!)

I think what happens is, someone will post something online, others will read it and jump on the bandwagon.
Beats thinking things out for yourself.

I am not sure *what* people thought it was going to be -- perhaps a bunch of characters sporting names such as "Gronk" walking around muttering "ugh" and hitting people over the head with clubs.
Not sure where that idea came from, owing to the vast familiarity of the Geico commercials.

Cavemen is pretty clever, has some snappy dialogue, and even throws in a bit of social commentary along the way.

True, it will most likely be canceled, just not for any good reasons.

The Judge said...

It doesnt take a rocket scientist to know a concept is not going to work. All it takes is common sense.

Granted, I've learned never to underestimated the power of stupid people who watch television, but my opinion about this show was my own and had nothing to do with someone else's blog that echoed my sentiments.

The moment I heard that ABC was developing a sit-com around the Geico cavemen, I *KNEW* it was going to suck. Why? Because what makes the characters amusing in a 30 second commercial is not enough to carry it through a 22 minute program. Its a cute premise, but its not enough. "Oh, overly-sensitive anachronistic Neanderthals that are ostracized in a modern society? Great. Is that all there is? Yes?? OK, then its going to suck."

Then I started hearing that they had to re-write the entire premise of the show when it started testing bad. Then the press saw it and confirmed it was bad. Then they had to re-write and edit everything AGAIN to try to win the audience. So far, the producers have failed miserably to provide the audience with anything more than a couple of 2-dimensional stereotypes lumbering through contrived scenarios week after week. There's no character development and no underlying message as to why cultural diversity is important. Just a bunch of pseudo-apes pretending to be human. Brilliant.

If you like it, good for you. Watch it, wear the t-shirt, whatever. But your opinion, my anonymous friend is a very slim minority compared to the millions and millions of people in the target demographic that think the show is stupid, dull and un-funny.

And this week's numbers further confirm that fact:

4th place, a 1.7 rating and a 5 share at 8pm, with 4.89 million people still tuning in. These are the worst ratings for the show so far.

The numbers don't lie.

Anonymous said...

See, you even said yourself that you had preconceived notions of what this show was going to be like.
That appears to be the case with many of the "critics" who dismissed the show from the very beginning (even before, to be accurate).
I fear that these Nostrodumbasses would be loathe to change their minds after blindly jump-starting their opinions on the program.

Any curtly stated synopsis such as you used can make anything sound ridiculous:
"Oh, 'The Andy Griffith Show'. Small town sheriff who doesn't carry a gun with an inept deputy as a side kick. Bra-vo! Is that it? Its gonna suck!".

"What's this - 'Star Trek'? Horny space jockey flies around the universe with pointy-eared half-human. Harrumph! Its gonna suck!"

Cavemen isn't bad at all. Listen to the dialog. The interaction and point counterpoint between Joel and Nick is particularly clever.

I stand by what I said, and altho I think you are a pretty good craftsman at writing, I just can't go with your POV on this one.

The Judge said...

Thank you for the compliment on my writing. It is appreciated, however your logic on Cavemen is still flawed.

You can try to draw similarities between the the synopsis of Cavemen and shows like Star Trek and Andy Griffith, but its a bit of a stretch. If I had to read those ideas today, I would still be interested in them. Andy Griffith illustrates a simpler time and place, which would be refreshing to see in modern television. Star Trek has been over-played, but its only because of all the Star Trek knock-offs that have been created on the strength of that show.

I have read the sluglines of plenty of pitched shows. Some work, some don't and some I have been completely wrong on (Nip/Tuck, for example) but it doesn't take a "nostradumbass" (great name, by the way) to deduce that a show based on a 30 second commercial about overly-sensitive cavemen is not that great of an idea.

As I said before, what works in 30 seconds, doesn't work in 22 minutes. Yes, there is some witty repartee between Joel and Nick, but that only serves to reinforce their stereotypes. Overall I'd say that the characters are two dimensional and entirely predictable. One is against the system and has that "damn the man" kind of personality that always tries to show how oppressed they are. One is the go-along to get-along type dismissing the rantings of the other and one's the slacker who's not concerned with either of them.

Its like the writers (which I am guessing you might be one at this point, my anonymous friend) just reached into the big fishbowl of stereotypical personas and duct-tapped them to the Geico cavemen. And since the Geico characters were very much the same personality, they (you?) figured it would be a simple process to extend the premise and wrap a weekly sit-com around it.

The problem is, the jokes are not funny. The characters are predictable, there are some serious plot holes (although "the Shaver" episode helped to fill in that hole) and I'm just plain tired of looking at their hairy arms the whole time.

And from the numbers, it looks like America is tired of them as well:

Cavemen came in at 4th place again this week, dropped a tenth of a rating point to 1.6, kept its pathetic 5 share and dropped another 280,000 viewers to 4.61 million.

Its got to be hard to defend a show that has never been above a 3.3 rating, and for that I give you credit. And again, if you enjoy the show, good on you.

But the rest of the American television viewing public strongly disagrees.

Anonymous said...

Hi Judge,

I think at this point I will finalize my input on Cavemen. I like it, you and the majority of the known universe does not.
"Like" is such an intangible so debate isn't going to sway either side to the other's POV.
Regardless, this friendly sparring was enjoyable :)

Take care,

PS You liked my "nostradumbass" eh?

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