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The WWE is expanding to another platform.
The sports entertainment company, which on April 3 unveiled plans to merge with Endeavor’s UFC, is producing a new docuseries called WWE: Recruits for The Roku Channel, with WWE legend John Cena set to produce and appear in the eight-episode series.
WWE: Recruits will follow a group of men and women hoping to become WWE superstars. Other stars set to appear in the series are Paul “Triple H” Levesque (who also leads WWE creative); Ric Flair; Shawn Michaels; and Bianca Belair. Filming is already underway, with some content produced at Wrestlemania last weekend.
A. Smith & Co. Productions (Hell’s Kitchen, American Ninja Warrior) is producing the series for Roku Channel.
WWE got its own docuseries with WWE: Recruits, which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the development of new talent, something that the UFC has long done through its Ultimate Fighter series. The deal with Roku Channel also means that the WWE now has original content on NBCUniversal, Fox, A+E Networks and Netflix (though its actual matches and events are only on USA, Peacock, and Fox).
The series is also an example of what the company hopes to do more of once its new venture with the UFC is completed.
“We expect in this new combination to launch nonscripted shows, docs and films, more fights, more events and and a mess of social media,” Endeavor president and COO Mark Shapiro told The Hollywood Reporter this week.
Roku Channel, meanwhile, gets a high-profile original series from a seasoned producer and a big star attached.
“Millions around the world watch and dream of it, but only a handful of extraordinary individuals can become a WWE Superstar,” Cena said in a statement. “I am so excited to bring WWE: Recuits to The Roku Channel and look forward to giving viewers an exclusive all-access perspective on how the WWE turns the dreams of talented young people into a reality.”
“Roku Original series WWE: Recruits not only unpacks how the WWE transforms unknown athletes into world-renowned stars, but also invites audiences into the lives of an unforgettable group of young people chasing their ultimate dream,” added Sean Boyle, head of adventure and exploration programming for Roku Channel. “We could not be more excited to work with the icon himself, John Cena, as our executive producer and our outstanding partners, the WWE and A. Smith & Co Productions, to share the untold story of this high-stakes world.”
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