Pro wrestling is a live-action soap opera. It’s fun, too, not that Fox cares. The network aims to highlight the top rope’s seedy underbelly in The Work, a dramatic series about the backstage politics and pressure in the professional wrestling world.
In 2011, Dwayne Johnson — “The Rock” during his WWE career — was once in negotiations with NBC to produce a similar series. The untitled project would have been a period drama set in the 1980s, the final days of wrestling’s “territories,” regional leagues that operated not unlike the mafia before the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment). NBC passed Johnson in favor of a workplace comedy, Slammed, also about wrestling, with Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon as executive producer. There have been no updates on Slammed since 2012.
Should Fox pick up the series, The Work would join a soap-friendly TV environment with adult dramas like Fox’s Empire, Blood & Oil, and How to Get Away With Murder as its contemporaries.