“For someone like me that’s surrounded by so many interesting characters, you know when you brush up against someone who can hold a room,” Cena told Variety. “There are so many people out there who can hold someone’s attention.”
While Cena is a fan of many scripted series on TV, “there’s a lot more opportunity in reality,” he said, and chances “to package lives the way they already are.”
As part of the development deal, Cena and Leftfield already have several ideas in the works, but aren’t ready to reveal the concepts just yet. Projects could potentially include Cena on screen somehow, but is not required to get a series off the ground.
“We have a few already in the pipeline, a few irons in the fire,” said Cena who is WWE’s biggest star and moneymaker as a regular on the company’s weekly shows like “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night SmackDown” and its monthly pay-per-views. Shows he creates with Leftfield would be produced independently outside of Cena’s contract with WWE, although there is an option for the company to participate in projects should it spark creatively to any of the concepts.
New York-based Leftfield certainly understands how to introduce quirky characters to the small screen. Its biggest hit, “Pawn Stars,” has become a franchise, with spinoffs in the U.K. and Australia, as well as “Pawnography.” It also produces “Blood, Sweat and Heels” and “Love Prison.” Previous shows like “Counting Cars,” “Carfellas” and “American Restoration” surely sparked Cena’s interest since he’s a serious car fan and collector.
“John Cena has broad appeal across so many different audiences and demographics; it makes total sense that his celebrity has exploded,” said Leftfield Entertainment CEO Brent Montgomery. “Leftfield has always been an entrepreneurial outfit, and we love collaborating with other aggressive entrepreneurs looking for creative ways to reach new markets and tell compelling, unconventional stories. We are really excited to be in business with Cena.”
Leftfield expanded last year through the acquisition of Sirens Media (“Real Housewives of New Jersey”), adding the shingle to its overall Leftfield Entertainment company portfolio, which also includes Loud TV (“Tiny House Nation”). It also formed production company Outpost Entertainment with Jodi Flynn (“Hoarders,” “Three Sheets”).
Cena isn’t the only WWE star that’s turned to TV on his own to expand his presence in front of and behind the camera.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson began producing TV shows in 2012, starting with reality competition show “The Hero,” co-produced with Ben Silverman’s Electus Entertainment.
Cena is repped by ICM.