Steve McPherson Defends His Cavemen

Perhaps the most notable of the 3,000 sitcom pilots born out of ABC's "Greenlight 'em all and let God sort 'em out" comedy development strategy for the 2007 fall TV season is Cavemen, the prospective series based on a series of commercials featuring insurance carrier Geico's second-most popular characters (the Gecko's agent at CAA is just too big an asshole to even deal with), a gang of put-upon Neanderthals thrust into a modern world that unfairly stereotypes them as uncultured brutes. But what really attracted ABC president Steven McPherson to the project, other than the utter glee that will accompany every caveman eye-roll in reaction to a supporting character's snooty insinuation that he probably doesn't know the difference between a salad fork and the jagged rock he used to kill his dinner? It's all about the cutting social commentary! This is some next-level shit, says McPherson in response to a THR question that politely refers to the sitcomfomercial concept as "nontraditional":

THR: The pilot "Cavemen" is based on the Geico commercials. Was there a conscious effort to find nontraditional voices?
McPherson: We tried to go some nontraditional ways, but some of the voices are not necessarily nontraditional voices, they just haven't had a chance to stretch their muscles a bit or been kept in a box. I can't say we went looking for "Cavemen." When they came in the door, they pitched and we were very skeptical at first. But when we heard it, we heard it was a sendup of race the way "3rd Rock From the Sun" is an analysis of human nature.

McPherson might be setting the bar a bit high in comparing the project to the socio-allegorical triumph that was 3rd Rock, but it's only because he's confident that the stunts he's planned for the upfronts next month, a "Superficially Evolved People Dance Like This, Cavemen Dance Like This" Party and a curbside demonstration in which some Cro Magnons demonstrate their inability to hail a cab, will instantly have prospective advertisers ready to buy into the show's winning combination of racially charged satire and broad humor.