NBC has given a 10-episode order to “The Titan Games,” an unscripted program from Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia. Johnson is also set to star in the show, a new athletic-competition format from his Seven Bucks Productions, Arthur Smith’s A. Smith & Co., and Universal Television Alternative Studios.
Billed as an opportunity for everyday people to test mind, body, and heart, “The Titan Games” will feature challengers from across the United States, each competing in an arena against one of six reigning Titans. A contestant who wins will take the defeated Titan’s place as one of the show’s half-dozen mainstays. At season’s end, the six Titans will engage in an epic battle to determine the male and female champions.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for people with stories like you and me to be able to shine in a platform that really has never been attempted before,” said Meredith Ahr, president of Universal Television Alternative Studios. “And obviously having Dwayne Johnson as the heart and soul of the show and Arthur Smith, who is the world’s leading producer of physical competitions that are the blending of entertainment and sport, we just couldn’t be more thrilled to be putting this package together.”
For the studio, “The Titan Games” represents the continued growth of a new model for unscripted programming. With ownership stakes in shows produced through the studio, NBC reaps financial rewards as formats such as “World of Dance” and “The Wall” travel to international markets.
“We want to work with best-in-class producers, and we want to be creating platform and formats that are scalable and replicable and global,” said Ahr.
Johnson — who is represented by WME — will executive produce alongside Smith, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz, and Toby Gorman.
The on-camera role further intensifies a busy slate for Johnson, who recently told Variety that he is eyeing a run for President of the United States in 2024. This year he will star in Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” based on the theme-park ride, along with the upcoming films “Rampage” and “Skyscraper.”
“We’re talking about everyday people who challenge themselves physically to get to the next level,” said Dany Garcia, co-founder with Johnson of Seven Bucks. “Physicality, training and health are the core of how Dwayne starts his day. It sets the tone. The subject matter was perfect. We’re not stepping out of any conversation that we don’t have daily.”
Filming on the 10-episode first season is set to begin in September. No premiere date has been set.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this project,” said Smith, who also produces “American Ninja Warrior” for NBC. “It plays to my love of athleticism and story and entertainment.”