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.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at email@example.com.
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