For as much as professional wrestling is already dramatized, the dramatization of pro wrestling is increasingly drawing interest at broadcast, cable, and streaming networks.
According to Deadline, NBCUniversal is developing a new drama set in the world of professional wrestling titled Pinned.
WWE chairman Vince McMahon is an executive producer on the project, along with Fox Sports reporter Tom Rinaldi. Craig O’Neill is writing the series. He’s been an executive producer on CSI: Vegas and MacGyver, and will have the same role on Pinned.
According to producers, Pinned will be an “adrenalized” drama that follows the behind-the-scenes workings of a fictional wrestling promotion and the “unforgettable” characters featured in the ring. Stories will also look at the culture of wrestling and the drama that takes place among the wrestlers outside of the ring along with the executives who run the promotion.
If that sounds a lot like Starz’s recent wrestling drama, Heels, starring Stephen Amell and featuring former NFL linebacker James Harrison, that’s the territory being covered. Although the wrestling promotion covered in Heels is a regional endeavor in the fictional small town of Duffy, Georgia.
Perhaps Pinned will follow a more national promotion that works in multiple territories throughout the country like WWE and AEW. And with NBCUniversal and big names like McMahon driving it, maybe the series will attract bigger names for the cast. However, Heels drew good reviews from critics and fans.
Other dramatized, scripted wrestling series that have aired or are currently in development include NBC’s Young Rock, which follows Dwayne Johnson’s life growing up as the son of pro wrestler Rocky Johnson with performers such as Andre the Giant, the Iron Sheik, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage hanging around regularly.
Blumhouse TV is also developing The United States vs. Vince McMahon, a dramatization of the 1994 WWF steroid trials in which McMahon was alleged to provide illegal steroids to his performers. WWE and McMahon are producers on that project. (The WWF steroid trials were also recently covered on VICE TV’s Dark Side of the Ring docuseries, which features dramatic re-enactments of certain events when necessary.)
As of yet, Pinned is not set up at any NBCUniversal network (NBC, USA Network, Bravo, etc.) or streaming platform. But it sure sounds like good content for Peacock, which already features WWE programming.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.