David McLane’s oldest daughter is going to Netflix, and his baby girl could be following suit.
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) founder’s latest project, Women of Wrestling (WOW), has recently partnered with MGM Studios to develop new content across a range of unscripted programming and digital formats.
Mark Burnett, MGM’s President, Television Group & Digital, and his team of producers headed by President of Unscripted Programming for MGM Television Barry Poznick, will work in tandem with McLane and his troupe of WOW Superheroes – a diversified group of over-the-top, athletic characters – as they begin production on the fifth season of the series. This is MGM Television’s second partnership in the sports arena with Lucha Underground in its third season.
WOW kicks off the new partnership this Thursday, May 11, with a taping at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. WOW Champion Santana Garrett defends the title against former champion (and the never pinned, never submitted) Jungle Grrrl. There’s also a tag team tournament which includes the Bully Busters facing Caged Heat. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com and more information can be found at WOWE.com. Enter the promo code STEPHY for 25% off.
McLane joined Wrestledelphia Radio this week to discuss the partnership, why WOW went off the air and came back, and his thoughts on the GLOW series coming to Netflix. You can listen to that interview here. Below are excerpts from the conversation.
With Mark Burnett at the helm of MGM, are you looking to follow his model for Lucha Underground and get WOW programming on Netflix?
McLane: “The table is wide open. For digital broadcast, we’re looking for opportunities in that. We’re also going to obviously expand our digital footprint. If that is with third parties and also our own network through our WOWE.com platform, that will be included also.”
I remember watching WOW at like 1 p.m. on Saturdays as a kid. Why was it off the air for so long?
McLane: “WOW was in syndication in 2000. As 2001 came about, the advertising market was pulled from underneath our feet. 9/11 hit and even though we had doubled our syndication size, I could not sustain the operating cost with the lower advertising rate. Due to the economics, I had to pull WOW out.
Jeanie Buss and I took those programs already produced and put those on in Las Vegas on the ABC affiliate as a test market to see if there was an appetite to bring WOW back. The ratings success of that on Sunday afternoons proved there was. It also proved the programming was evergreen, meaning there was a generation now that had never seen it. To them it was fresh and new. Subsequently, that was the catalyst for which we brought it back. When we did, our idea was digital first. We built out all the digital platforms from Facebook and Instagram to our website so that when the opportunity would come about where we could gain a partnership with a company like MGM Studios, we had the platform in place to grow the brand. That’s where we are today.”
Did the rise in women’s wrestling over the past few years play a role in you resurrecting WOW?
McLane: “My passion never died to bring WOW back. It was Jeanie Buss’ passion to bring women’s wrestling to the forefront and change the status quo of what women’s wrestling was and is that brought WOW back. There’s zero doubt in our minds that we’re the catalyst for the evolution of women’s wrestling. Even today WWE is now changing their model from pillow fighting and jello fighting to bringing a more athletic presentation of women’s wrestling. It’s due to the fans’ demand to see women positioned with some integrity in the ring versus, I don’t know the proper word, rather than exploit their sexuality. If you were a fan of WOW since 2000, you can see we have always been dedicated to presenting women’s wrestling as they’re athletes first. Their athletic skills are honored. We’ve always treated the product in that manner. It’s nothing we’ve changed from.”
Let’s talk about this GLOW show on Netflix. Have you been involved with this at all?
McLane: “No, I have not but I’m so excited for it. Jenji Kohan, the producer of Orange Is the New Black, I suspect she was a fan of GLOW in the early days and then saw the movie that was made by two college kids from Texas. She decided to do a remake of the 80s’ phenomenon GLOW, and I’m so happy for her to do it. There are GLOW girls that still participate in fan clubs. Matilda the Hun, Hollywood and Americana will all be at the WOW show Thursday night.
And, you’re getting a scoop here because no one knows this, Jacqueline Stallone, Sylvester’s mom, will also be in attendance. It will be the first time she and I have seen each other in quite a while. I’m excited to host her as my guest. It will be a mini GLOW reunion.”
For more details on the partnership and WOW’s future, listen to the full interview below.
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