Tuned In

High Quality Show Alert! Also, Heavy Irony Alert!

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Cavemen is evolving (or devolving), out of sight of critics. Gale Adler / ABC

We’re introducing a new feature here at Tuned In, High Quality Show Alert!, which seeks to inform you about upcoming TV series that are apparently so awesome, so incredibly good, that the networks are refusing to screen them in advance for critics. Because they would blow our minds.

The first is ABC’s Cavemen. I’m sure you are shocked. Seriously, I kid Cavemen, but I’ll be disappointed if it actually turns out to be as bad as people have predicted from the moment it was announced. Partly because I actually thought the original pilot (which has since been totally re-shot) was not bad–it was too broad but had a nice high-concept, Third Rock- or Alf-like appeal. Partly because, as I wrote in a column, I feel that some of the shots against it were not based on the pilot itself but out of a knee-jerk snobbery that a commercial can’t produce a good show. (May I direct your attention to Max Headroom.) There’s no reason the dry, pitch-perfect Geico ads would have to translate into a lousy sitcom, but who knows? ABC may have gone and done it anyway. I’ll have to find out on Tuesday with the rest of you.

I also received word that MTV “has decided not to send out screeners” for A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila, a bisexual dating show starring the MySpace sensation. I’m guessing because they want to get the phrase “bisexual dating show” out there and quit while they’re ahead.

This has been a High Quality Show Alert! Consider yourself alerted!