Paul Finebaum likes the way the sitcom based on his life is progressing.
Soon, there will be The Paul Finebaum Show, as well as a Paul Finebaum sitcom.
The popular sports talk radio host originally based out of Birmingham, Alabama confirms there will be a sitcom based around his life airing on one of the four major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC). News of this one-of-a-kind sitcom based around this one-of-a-kind radio show first came into the national consciousness back in February. It blew peoples’ minds, but it’s progressing.
In an interview with Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer, Finebaum’s new place of residence since becoming the face of ESPN’s SEC Network back in 2014, he talked about several things in his career, as well as how quickly this sitcom based on his life is coming together.
“There is a major Hollywood production company involved and already several writers are working on the script to be pitched to the major networks soon,” Finebaum told Fowler.
“The biggest news is a well-known actor is extremely interested in playing the lead. We did a call recently and it was fairly bizarre having a successful Hollywood actor asking me about me. He is considerably younger, so the idea is to set the sitcom at an early point in my career.”
So we’re looking at a Hollywood A-lister playing someone like Paul Finebaum?
With Finebaum in his mid-60s, this actor will be portraying someone in the vein of Finebaum back in his days in Birmingham in the 1980s and 1990s. The University of Tennessee graduate made his name initially a polarizing reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald, covering the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers. His radio show traces its beginnings to the early 1990s.
Surely, there will be something akin to a Harvey Updyke storyline baked into the show, as well as the regular callers we love and hate on The Paul Finebaum Show today. Who will be the equivalents of Charles from Reeltown, Phyllis from Mulga, Larry from Shelby, I-Man from Montgomery and the greatest Finebaum caller of all time, Jim from Tuscaloosa?
As for the actor slated to play the equivalent of Finebaum, it does seem like it’ll end up being someone who will make us turn our heads. Finebaum is among the best in his industry and has been for a very long time. Anything less than a bona fide A-lister would be a disservice to putting this one-of-a-kind sitcom together based on the one-of-a-kind radio show it absolutely inspired.
The interesting thing here is all four major networks are involved. Finebaum is in the final year of his Disney contract, as he re-upped with ESPN in 2018 at a reported $5 million annually. Finebaum loves what he does and may keep doing his radio show for the foreseeable future, but what happens if CBS, FOX or NBC pick up the sitcom?
If it isn’t in-house with Disney/ESPN/ABC, then that could be a total game-changer. While CBS sitcoms are a bit formulaic, they have hit huge with Chuck Lorre shows like Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. If this sitcom wants mass appeal, but a downplay of high-brow quality, CBS would be a great fit for the other Paul Finebaum show.
NBC has had plenty of success with Michael Schur comedies like The Office, Parks and Recreation and most recently The Good Place. Schur is a huge sports fan, albeit outside of the SEC footprint. While NBC never has been one to go more than dipping its toes into TV-14, the production quality and critical praise of the show could be met by both at NBC.
And then there’s FOX…If this Finebaum show goes on FOX, it can be as raunchy as all get-up. This is the new kid on the block program in the American national broadcasting landscape. FOX takes big risks and they usually pan out. This is the home of The Simpsons and were the ones to green light American idol. FS1 is ESPN’s biggest rival, but this Finebaum show would crush on FOX.
As long as they get the actor right, the Finebaum sitcom has a chance to be must-see television.