This week NASCAR traveled to Hollywood where several drivers took the opportunity to meet with network execs and sign deals for their own shows. In the face of declining ratings for races, NASCAR officials hope the cross-over appeal of NASCAR drivers in scripted TV will boost its appeal. NBC’s attempt to infuse its fall lineup with NASCAR programming failed, but experts feel now is the time.
Here’s a closer look at some of the TV deals now in development.
While driving from Daytona to Charlotte, Kyle Busch was caught speeding in a Florida retirement community and forced to serve an unusual punishment: Busch has to live retirement community for a year and serve as its driving instructor. It’s Golden Girls meets Stroker Ace with NASCAR’s bad boy Kyle Busch in the lead role. Joining Rowdy in the cast are emmy-winner Doris Roberts as the meddling neighbor always trying to set up Kyle with single retirees and Darrell Waltrip as the casanova of the retirement community and Kyle’s court-appointed roommate.
Wrongly convicted of murdering his best friend, Axel Richter must evade the law and clear his name. Once an international race car driver, now he roams the streets of Miami seeking the real killer as a vigiliante detective. Along the way he fights crime and finds opportunities for his shirt to be accidentally ripped off to gratuitously display his washboard abs. NASCAR’s Carl Edwards stars as the disgraced hero at the center of this thriller.
Juan Pablo channels his inner Dr. Phil in this daytime talk show. Wearing his trademark red firesuit, Montoya roams the audience like a modern day Donahue, grilling ordinary folks about their problems. His patented style involves repeatedly asking them “What’s Your Problem?” in an increasingly exasperated fashion. Eventually, the participant answers, “I guess I don’t have a problem,” to which JPM celebrates the breakthrough by firing finger-six-shooters into the air.
All politics is local for a lovable loser in this sitcom form CBS. The show is centered around an accountant unfortunately named after NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon. Accountant Jeff Gordon is running for the elected position of city comptroller in the face of serious opposition from locals who confuse him for reviled superstar racer Gordon. Accountant Jeff Gordon is driven to repair his reputation in town only to have his plan comically backfire every time.
Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray teams up with David Reutimann in buddy cop show coming this fall. McMurray plays Det. Mac, a by-the-book detective just trying to make it through the day without getting killed by his partner, The Cheese. Reutimann plays The Cheese, a Latin party boy with a nose for trouble. Many were surprised by the casting, but critics who have seen previews insist that Reutimann’s performance as a spontaneous wild card is already creating Cable Ace Award buzz.