Don’t get too excited…
Deadline- The Work, through 20th Century Fox TV, is set in the world of professional wrestling. It was written on spec by Scott O’Connor. O’Connor has been interested in professional wrestling and penned an article about WWE star Brock Lesnar in New York Times Magazine in August.
“First Robbie Baitz with The Slap, then Dave Digilio with Warrior, now with O’Connor and Murphy; Parkes MacDonald is committed to bringing strong, original voices to television,” Shiflett said. “It’s an exciting time to be working in the medium, and we’ll continue to pursue business with any storyteller who brings a unique perspective.”
The reason I say don’t get too excited is this: I don’t think the wrestling show that hardcore fans want will ever exist on FOX, or any one of the four major networks. Wrestling is such a niche, carny business from a casual fan’s perspective that explaining the real inner workings of the business will be a chore in many people’s minds. I think people would tune in, and realize they have to learn a new language to understand half the shit that’s being talked about, and tune out. I doubt TV executives at FOX would greenlight a show where so much has to be explained.
Because of this, I suspect that “The Work” will make up a lot of backstage politics that have never, and probably will never exist so the show can appeal to a larger audience. Hardcore fans will hate it, and it’ll do good ratings, leading to many misconceptions about the industry for years. Just look at one of FOX’s top shows, “Gotham”. I haven’t seen many good comments about the show from real Batman fans. The fans who read Batman comics are mostly annoyed that the show even exists. It’s a shame, really, because “Gotham” isn’t terrible. It’s just not the show Batman fans want. That’s how “The Work” is going to wind up.
Now I understand my point of view on this topic is very pessimistic, but I’m still looking forward to “The Work”. I don’t think it’ll be a bad show, I just know wrestling fans are almost never satisfied. Maybe if a network such as AMC, FX, or even HBO had a wrestling show on deck, I’d trust them to get it right. Fox’s recent track record isn’t all that great, though.