Can Norman Lear’s Wrestling Show Save HBO?


Norman Lear, the executive producer of classic sitcoms such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Maude, is set to collaborate with HBO on a new dramatic series about a family-run pro-wrestling business in the seventies (a classic example of the HBO quirky-drama formula). The series, tentatively titled Everybody Hurts, will be written by Aaron Blitzstein, who worked as a vice-president of marketing for WCW before beginning his career as a comedy writer for David Letterman and, uh, Crank Yankers. Lear and Blitzstein hope that the series' milieu will resonate with audiences looking for inspiration in a post-Bush America, though HBO likely has grander ambitions for the show, which will need to body-slam its competitors in order to be a ratings hero for the ailing premium-cable network. Nevertheless, Lara Bergthold, an executive producer on the project, posits, "Wrestling is where people turn to when they feel the government is lying to them and there are no real heroes in their lives." No accounting for subtlety there.

HBO in Clinch With Norman Lear [Reuters]