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The Rock, Jerry Bruckheimer Sell Wrestling Drama To NBC

NBC has bought the rights to a new wrestling drama from the team of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The hour-long project from Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros is set in the 1980s, during the rise of the professional wrestling world.

Brent Fletcher and Seamus Kevin Fahey will serve as the writers and Johnson, Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman are executive producing.

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!
 

Terrell Pryor Ruled Eligible for Monday Supplemental Draft

The NFL announced today that former Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor is eligible for the Supplemental Draft, which was scheduled for yesterday and has been rescheduled for Monday. Pryor won’t be strolling into the league without restrictions, however. In announcing his eligibility, the league said Pryor — who left OSU after three years, facing a five-game suspension in 2011 for trading memorabilia for tattoos and other considerations — will not be eligible to practice with his team or play in a game until Week 6. In a strong-armed message, the NFL has taken the NCAA’s five-game suspension and imposed it on Pryor in his new profession, a clear punishment for what took place at OSU, where head coach Jim Tressel lost his job for not divulging some of the infractions that Pryor and other players committed on his watch.

In a press release, the league said, “Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft. Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules, which resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football.

“Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs.”

Five other players are eligible for Monday’s draft: former Northern Illinois safety Tracy Wilson, former Georgia running back Caleb King, former Western Carolina cornerback Torez Jones, former Lindenwood University defensive end Keenan Mace, and former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo.

ESPN Debuting New Baseball Tonight Studio

Baseball Tonight is debuting a new 5,000-square-foot studio during this evening’s 10 p.m. broadcast. The state-of-the-art studio is the largest sport-specific studio at ESPN and includes an expansive demonstration area, allowing plenty of room for John Kruk to demonstrate how to go from first to third on routine singles.

The new studio houses 19 40-inch LCD monitors and seven 70-inch LCD, all of which can feed separate video streams. The anchor desk contains three seamless monitors which can include graphics, headshots and logos. There are two LED displays (8 feet, 6 inches by 12 feet, 6 inches), which can showcase standings, results and editorially-driven graphics.

“The new set is cutting edge, functional and a unique blend of contemporary and traditional design, much like the game,” Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice President and executive producer. “We’re excited by the opportunities it offers to enhance the viewer experience.”

Not sure why they released the Front Row video above, because all it shows is Kruk, Bobby Valentine and others traipsing through an unfinished work site.

Video: Shaq Names Five Old-School NBA Players He'd Want to Fight

During an appearance on Inside MMA on HDNet, new TNT announcer Shaquille O’Neal was asked who he’d liked to fight if given a chance. Instead of naming five current players, O’Neal went old school and named former players Charles Oakley, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Xavier McDaniel and…Danny Ainge?

He notes that Ainge almost bit off Tree Rollins‘ finger during a fight, so Ainge has a little tenacity to him.

(H/T to GameOn)

Kevin Eck Leaving Baltimore Sun For WWE

Longtime Baltimore Sun writer Kevin Eck is leaving the newspaper after 22 years for a gig with the WWE as a member of their creative team.

(For the record, I’m so jealous of Kevin. It’s not even funny.)

Eck started the Ring Posts wrestling blog at the Baltimore Sun in 2007 after serving as editor of the now defunct WCW Magazine.

I think this is an exciting time to be joining WWE, which is currently in the process of altering its creative approach,” Eck wrote Wednesday on his Ring Posts blog. “I’ve accepted a position that will allow me to contribute from a creative standpoint and also use my skills as a journalist.”

 


Whitlock Criticizes Klosterman for Preferring Breaking Bad to The Wire

Do you watch Breaking Bad, the popular AMC show whose third season premieres this week? And did you watch The Wire, which many people consider the best television series in recent memory? If you answered “no” to both questions, then I’m right there with you. Consequently I will not be moved by reading Chuck Klosterman‘s essay for Grantland.com about why Breaking Bad is better than The Wire. Such is not the case for Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports, who has spent the morning Twitter sniping against Klosterman and his conclusions, even writing, “Klosterman’s next Grantland attention grab: “Why Judas was better than Jesus.”

Coming from a sportswriter like Whitlock, who prides himself on being a contrarian, the irony is rather thick.

Among Whitlock’s tweets about Klosterman’s article:

“I weep for America that that shit was written by a respected thinker. And I really like Breaking Bad.”

“I will block people for pretending to agree with Klosterman. #imnotjoking if u r that stupid, i don’t want to be connected to you.”

Let’s keep in mind that this is one sportswriter calling out another sportswriter for writing an essay about why he prefers one fictional drama series to another. If you’re a sportswriter and you haven’t expanded your brand to include a widespread knowledge of hip, cool shows, you need to get cracking, snappy.

Klosterman once wrote that he’d unabashedly never read any of the Harry Potter books, and would thus have a large gap in his pop culture knowledge when others were quoting or referencing the popular series. Others have the same relationship to Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell.

Vote: The Mt. Rushmore of Awful Sports Announcers

ESPN replaced longtime Sunday Night baseball announcer Joe Morgan before this season, creating a large hole in the lives of those listeners who enjoy seeing their blood pressure rise when an old school baseball guy rails against the utilization of sabermetrics. Morgan, whose backwards attitude towards the Moneyball era inspired the creation of the popular and relatively short-lived baseball blog Fire Joe Morgan, was among the four faces on Awful Announcing’s Mount Rushmore of, well, awful announcers. With his removal from ESPN, however, AA has decided to remove him from its monument, too, and will replace him according to readers’ votes. Yes, AA is going to use a 32-person tournament of head-to-head match-ups featuring the likes dislikes of Woody Paige, Skip Bayless, Rick Reilly and Hawk Harrelson. Go here to vote.

The winner will join Pam Ward, Dick Vitale and Tim McCarver.

 

 

Stanley Cup Final Game 7 Scores 5.7 Overnight Rating

Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final earned a 5.7 overnight rating (10 share), tying 2003 (Anaheim-New Jersey) for the best NHL Stanley Cup Game 7 overnight on record, according to The Nielsen Company.

Wednesday’s game ties for the second-best Stanley Cup overnight rating in 37 years, trailing only last year’s Chicago-Philadelphia Game 6 (5.8/10 overnight)

In Boston, the game earned a 43.4 rating and a 64 share, the best overnight in the Boston market featuring a local team in any major sports championship since Super Bowl XLII (55.6) in 2008.

For the entire Stanley Cup, Boston’s local rating was a 28.1/44, 12 percent higher than Boston’s seven-game average (25.0/40) for the 2010 NBA Finals on ABC. Read more

Video: NBC Promo Touts NHL Finals Between Canucks and Lightning

On Tuesday NBC ran this promo for Game One of the NHL Finals that includes clips of the Canucks (who are playing) and clips of the Lightning (who are playing golf). Here’s betting they don’t run a similar promo for Game 2, when the Canucks try to go up two games to none on the Bruins.

Considering I wrote a piece yesterday that said the Cavaliers and LeBron James were ahead 1-0 in the NBA Finals, I have nothing but sympathy for whoever hit the “play” button on this NHL promo. Together we shall grow from this.

(H/T to Sean Leahy)

World Wrestling Entertainment Expanding To India

World Wrestling Entertainment is opening a new office in Mumbai, India on June 1.

Rukn Kizilbash has been appointed as general manager of WWE India in order to spearhead the company’s expansion efforts.

Kizilbash recently served as the chief operating officer at Percept. He’s also served as general manager of Ten Sports after being promoted from vice president, advertising sales.

“WWE is committed to growing our business to ensure that our international fans have the access they want to our products and our programs,” said Andrew Whitaker, executive vice president, WWE International. “With the hiring of Rukn Kizilbash and the opening of the office in Mumbai, WWE expects to increase the revenue generated from India across all platforms, and bring our audience even more WWE excitement and products that they have desired.” Read more

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