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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cavemen?? What's Next?

ABC's decision to make a TV sitcom from a TV commercial -- "Cavemen," based on the Geico spots -- started me thinking of possible other TV shows based on commercials. Obviously, the TV networks have run out of ideas. So maybe we could help them by suggesting how to make TV series based on TV commercials.

I can think of a few. You can add others. Let's have some fun.

--"AFLAC!" If the Geico Cavemen deserve their own show, why not the AFLAC duck? Maybe with Yogi Berra as the wacky neighbor? Or he could make a cameo each week? Maybe comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who does the duck's voice, could make a cameo too?

--"Jared on the Subway": Jared from the Subway commercials intervenes in people's busy lives and gets them to eat right, eat fresh.

--"Marty & Joe": Based on their popular Kroger commercials, the comic adventures of Big Joe Nuxhall and his little buddy Marty Brennaman. Or will Marty's hair and makeup demands bust the budget?

--"Derek Said It Would Be Like This:" If ABC can do a drama about a lawyer who's a prophet ("Eli Stone"), why not a series about a TV weatherman who not only uncannily gets the forecast right every single day, but can predict many other future events? Like the TV news ratings and anchor changes?

What else? That limo driver from the White Castle commercials (oh, the stories he could tell)? Who from beer commercials?
Let's have some fun today.


at 5/16/2007 10:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk show hosts that climb on roofs!

at 5/16/2007 10:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about giving the gekko his own show, along with the aflac duck?
from the neighborhood

at 5/16/2007 11:08 AM Blogger Mark said...

i actually really like the caveman ads, so i will at least watch the pilot to see how it shakes out. great TV shows all have one thing in common: great, well defined characters. the cavemen dudes are pretty sweet and certainly hold humor potential.

even if they just sit there and say nothing, they will be funnier than george lopez.

at 5/16/2007 11:32 AM Blogger Rob said...

I still say that I would watch Tiny House.

at 5/16/2007 12:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about "Moderate in the Middle". A story about a middle class family that has a Jerry Springer watching family to the the left of them and a Bill Cunningham listening, Sean Hannity watching family to the right. Sounds like the silent majority of Americans.

at 5/16/2007 12:17 PM Anonymous sedi said...


Say it ain't so, I heard that Jericho was cancelled!!

at 5/16/2007 12:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

sad thing is, John, your ideas are as good or better than what the mills in Hollywood are cranking out for us.

How about one called "Good Ole Jim Scott" about a goofy morning radio host who loses his lucky Grippo bag from his back pocket while playing GALF one day in Our Town?

at 5/16/2007 12:36 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Yes, "Jericho" was canceled. So was "Close to Home. "The Unit" was renwed. Will post more as soon as I can.

at 5/16/2007 1:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Miller High Life delivery guy?

at 5/16/2007 3:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 1:48, that one could work! he could get his mission orders from opening a Miller beer can, and when its time for the message to self destruct, it could foam over.

at 5/17/2007 9:04 AM Anonymous Paul Gardner said...

The new Cavemen TV series only shows the lack of creativity on the part of television executives, writers, producers and others involved in the entire production process. The caveman ads are unusual and funny so TV jumps on it because they have no other fresh ideas. Also, the politically correct crowd can't complain of caveman exploitation when they are no longer around. The best TV shows are generally shown on TV Land, the cable station that takes pride in showing The classics like I Love Lucy and Bonanza.

at 5/17/2007 9:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The White Castle limo driver show would have to be on HBO, a la Taxicab Confessions...

at 5/17/2007 8:30 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

Well, even though I watch VERY LITTLE modern network tv, I must say from what I read and experienced just a few years ago, is worse today. Between bad time slots or time slot roulette or 'let's yank your show off for six weeks with no notice and then sneak it back on' is VERY tough for a new show to attract an audience.

Though I still watch Boston Legal I am still irked it was yanked off for Nov sweeps. Also the writing this year is SO UNEVEN it goes from shark jump to jump back, to guppy food. Must be the writing or David E Kelly is bipolar..the first two seasons, minus a couple BAD episodes (man who cheated on wife with cow but I digress) were much better...I loved the show where ALan and Denny went fishing!!!

But for new shows to be yanked around in the first year is very difficult. So, I hear folks that do not even want to invest in a show until after the first season or two.

The CAVEMAN commercial being made into a show...Heck, I don't even like the commercial.

Now the AFLAC duck COULD be entertaining, John, if written correctly and not use the "AFLAC" into over kill...have the "aflac" sound affect used through out the show, randomly and with discretion when somebody sneezes...or cussses (instead of bleeping out the words) or when somebody is trying to think of a good the sound effect softly in the background.

But honestly, some of the shows on the air amaze me when I do channel surf across them. I liked TWO AND A HALF MEN the first season but then it became gutter adult humor not fit for kids under 18!!! WHy did they have to CHOOSE THAT ROUTE?

Then I caught another stupid show about "why I married your mother" and after one episode thought it stank and never watched it again and it is STILL on the air?

I do not get it. Then again, I do not understand much of modern tv including the gunking up of all sports with GRAPHICS and swooshy sound effects, the latter two even on the news show.

Oh, well.

Fake reality tv has ruined tv further as the appetite of the lowest common denominator is about humiliation and watching folks be mean to each other.

Just not my cup of tea...or coffee as my case may be.

Folks may put down that horrible Springer show but most of TV is like that only written in a less obnoxious manner imho.


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