He always said he’d be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger is producing the Pump TV series. The new drama, based on his competitive bodybuilding career in Venice Beach, is set in the 1970s. Bryan Goluboff has been tapped as showrunner and executive producer.
Deadline reports the eight one-hour episode first season will also be produced by Emmett/Furla/Oasis CEOs Randall Emmett and George Furla, and The Tannenbaum Company CEO Eric Tannenbaum. Created by Michael Konyves, the Pump TV show in is development at CBS Television Studios.
Pump is loosely based on the Venice Beach exploits of Schwarzenegger, when he was then known not as the Governator, but rather as the Austrian Oak. The series is set in 1973, as a small group of bodybuilders birthed the physical fitness industry and body worship, in the Pacific Avenue beachfront gym that was their temple. While fitness is now a multi-billion dollar industry, back then Schwarzenegger and his brawny pals were viewed as being freakishly muscular. Despite having the best bodies in the world, most bodybuilders were broke. That didn’t mean they didn’t have fun, living a life of hedonism and adventure in 1970s Southern California. Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Olympia title seven times and stole the show in the seminal documentary Pumping Iron, before fulfilling the American immigrant rags to riches dream as the action star of films ranging from Terminator to Predator and True Lies, and then California State Governor.
Pump has found its landing spot after several stops along the development trail. It was originally developed at Showtime Networks; from there it landed at Hulu but didn’t go forward. Schwarzenegger’s reps at CAA found footing by teaming their client and the material with Emmett/Furla/Oasis, which formed a relationship with the star on the just completed feature 478. E/F/O moved into TV with the series Power, going into its third season with a fourth to shoot this fall with CBS Television Studios and Starz. CAA will sell the domestic rights to Pump.
Said Schwarzenegger: “I knew from our first brainstorming session that Pump would be a hit. The 70’s were such a colorful, transformational time, for me and for our entire country. I look forward to bringing that color to people’s living rooms with the fantastic, deep characters and the multi-layered story lines of Pump. I feel so passionate about this project because today it’s easy to take our gyms and culture of fitness for granted, but it all started with this wild group of bodybuilders as a tiny subculture in a little dungeon gym in Venice Beach. I can’t wait to get to work with our great team.”
Said Emmett: “After reading the first script, I loved the concept and knew that there is an audience for it. We felt that we should bring it to life and found the right partnerships with Schwarzenegger, The Tannenbaum Company and CBS Television Studios.
In addition to Emmett, Furla and Schwarzenegger, other producers include Wayne Godfrey and Robert Jones of the Fyzz Facility. Executive Producers are Eric and Kim Tannenbaum alongside CBS Television Studios. E/F/O is currently in post-production on the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence, and is just starting production on the Kevin Connolly-directed Gotti, with John Travolta playing the late iconic mob boss John Gotti. Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, previously executive producers of Two and Half Men and currently in production on Season 3 of CBS Network’s The Odd Couple, Season 4 of Freeform Channel’s Young and Hungry and Season 2 of Impastor for TV Land.
What do you think? How do you like the sound of the Pump TV series? Who would you cast as a young Arnold? Tell us!