The following press release was sent out by WWE and Blumhouse today about a new project they are working on.
WWE and Blumhouse Partner to Develop ‘The United States of America Vs. Vince McMahon’
LOS ANGELES & STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WWE® (NYSE: WWE) and Blumhouse Television are partnering to develop a limited scripted series called, The United States of America Vs. Vince McMahon. Jason Blum’s company, Blumhouse, will develop the series for television, led by Blumhouse TV President Chris McCumber. The series, The United States of America Vs. Vince McMahon, will be the first-ever scripted dramatic portrayal of a chapter in WWE’s history. Additionally, it is also the first scripted portrayal of McMahon as well as many of the legendary Superstars of that era.
The show will delve into WWE during the 1990s, at the time Rupert Murdoch had purchased the New York Post to further his massive infiltration into the U.S. media landscape. For years, infamous Post writer Phil Mushnick regularly hammered WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon in his column. Headlines like “Legislators Give WWE A Free Pass On ‘Roids” and “McMahon Skips Through the Cemetery” eventually captured the attention of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York – the nation’s most prestigious federal prosecutor’s office with a conviction rate of over 96 percent.
In 1994, the U.S. government indicted McMahon for allegedly supplying anabolic steroids to WWE talent. McMahon, with his liberty at stake, two school-aged children at home and with WWE on the brink of bankruptcy, refused to take a plea deal. Ultimately, McMahon stood trial and was acquitted unanimously by a jury of his peers and went on to build a multi-billion-dollar global sports entertainment empire.
“Jason, Chris and their team at Blumhouse create amazing work and we look forward to delivering an inside look into one of the most pivotal moments in our company’s history,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer & Chief of Global Television Distribution.
“We have a dramatic, riveting saga – one that’s crazier than fiction – that will appeal to the cross-section of Blumhouse and WWE fans,” said Chris McCumber, Blumhouse Television President. “To say I’m thrilled about collaborating again with WWE is an understatement.”
McMahon, Dunn, Blum, McCumber and Jeremy Gold will serve as executive producers on the project.
The Blumhouse Television team, led by McCumber, have made several significant development announcements in the last few weeks, including: the straight-to-series pick-up of The Thing About Pam, starring Renee Zellweger in her broadcast TV debut for NBC; Blumhouse Ghost Story, the scripted series based on The Battersea Poltergeist BBC podcast, and the companion unscripted series; the continuing series based on Patricia Cornwell’s world’s best-selling “Kay Scarpetta” novels for a major; and the exclusive multi-year partnership with ITV America for provocative, disruptive and terrifying content to every corner of the non-fiction space, including Escape the Maze (wt) the first project derived from the partnership; among several other announcements.
Blumhouse is known for pioneering a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films and provocative television series. Regarded as the driving force in the horror renaissance, Blumhouse has produced over 150 movies and television series with theatrical grosses amounting to over $4.8 billion. The company has produced iconic, genre, film franchises like Halloween, Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and prolific films like Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man; Glass, The Visit and Split from M. NIght Shyamalan; Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman; Get Out from Jordan Peele; among several others. Blum’s television company operates in horror programming – with streaming anthology series for Epix and Welcome to the Blumhouse for Amazon – and has also expanded beyond genre with provocative and acclaimed scripted and unscripted series and documentaries, such as The Good Lord Bird, starring Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke, for Showtime; The Loudest Voice, starring Golden Globe winner Russell Crowe for Showtime; A Wilderness of Error (FX); The Jinx for HBO; A Secret Love, from executive producer Ryan Murphy, for Netflix; and lauded HBO series Sharp Objects, starring Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson, among others.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The Company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG programming can be seen in more than 900 million homes worldwide in 28 languages through world-class distribution partners including NBCUniversal, FOX Sports, BT Sport, Sony India and Rogers. The award-winning WWE Network includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library and is currently available in more than 180 countries. In the United States, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, is the exclusive home to WWE Network. The Company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Dubai, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Riyadh, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.
TJR Thoughts: I’m intrigued. Obviously it’s an interesting topic, but with WWE producing I’m sure that will lead to viewers questioning how one-sided it will be.