Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably best known for his role as the Terminator in, obviously, the Terminator franchise. In the political sphere, he, like Ronald Reagan, transcended acting to step to be the governor of California–which earned him the maybe not-so-affectionate nickname “the Governator.”
Now, after years of relatively quiet from the man who coined the Eastern European-inflected “I’ll be back” line, Schwarzenegger is, well, back in the Hollywood world. The former actor-and-politician is developing a show called Pump that’ll serve as an auto-biographical outlet for Schwarzenegger, Deadline reports.
The show clocks back time to the days of Schwarzenegger when all those who knew him knew him as “the Austrian Oak.” Pump will illustrate the days in the Venice Beach gym community where Schwarzenegger was a king unknown, all the way up to and possibly through the moment he went from private weight-lifting junkie to worldwide bodybuilding celebrity. Though the show isn’t going to be a purely nonfiction series–meaning Schwarzenegger may or not be a character himself in the scenes (rather, the protagonist may be inspired by him)–everything that will be seen will be loosely based on actual events.
Pump, set in 1973, opens on the cusp of the bodybuilding world as it was about to explode. It’ll follow this small group of Pacific-siders as they turn having consistently empty bank accounts into using their own bodies to make them rich. After all, it might be hard to believe now as the world–the US in particular–is obsessed with fitness and making themselves at least look healthier, at the time, extreme weight-lifting was seen as “freakish.” Of course, once gym-worship was turned into something a mass market wanted to be a part of, Schwarzenegger propelled into fame, action-star acting, riches, and titles.
The show won’t feature one of the most famous action stars of all time, however. Though the cast list is yet to be decided, Schwarzenegger will produce what will be an eight-episode hour-long drama. Joining the former governor in the producer’s chair will be Randall Emmett and George Furla of Emmett/Furla/Oasis, as well as Eric Tannenbaum of the Tannenbaum Company.
Bryan Goluboff will take on the role of show-runner, as well as executive producer (yes, technically above Schwarzenegger himself). Goluboff has several writing credits for Law and Order: SVU and Smash under his belt, as well as writing, consulting-producing, and executive-producing for Blue Bloods. This will be Goluboff’s first show-running gig.
Pump has found its home at CBS after a significant amount of bouncing around. First, the pilot was bought by Showtime, where it soon was sold to the highest bidder. Next, Hulu picked it up amidst its hunt for original programming; the streaming company soon dropped it. Then, finally, Pump‘s producers convinced CBS Television Studios that it was worth a chance; now, it’ll share filming with Starz.
Said Emmett, who saved Pump by talking it up to CBS, “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.”
The character at the center of it all was grateful as well and expressed his excitement for his show. “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,” said Schwarzenegger.
He continued, “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.”
More about Pump will be sure to come as it begins to start development.