Showtime Acquires Arnold Schwarzenneger Bodybuilding Drama ‘Pump’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 29th, 2013 at 11:29 pm,

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron Showtime Acquires Arnold Schwarzenneger Bodybuilding Drama Pump

Prior to embarking upon his successful and lucrative acting career, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the main subject of George Butler’s fascinating 1977 documentary Pumping Iron, which follows him during his time as the champion of the international professional men’s bodybuilding competition, Mr Olympia.

After taking a few years off to govern California, Schwarzenegger has been lining up more acting projects and has already starred in The Expendables 2 and Kim Jee-Woon’s action thriller The Last Stand, but now he’s planning to make a return to his roots with a new TV show that’s all about bodybuilding.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Pump, a new hour-long drama show executive produced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been sold to Showtime with the possibility of being ordered to series. The show is based around a Pacific Avenue gym called Pump and the fitness-obsessed customers who frequent it. If Showtime decides to order Pump to series, Schwarzenegger plans to star in a recurring role.

If the gym in Pump is based on Gold’s Gym, where Schwarzenegger himself trained, then it’s possible that Pumping Iron may be used as a direct inspiration for the series. The pilot episode will be written by Michael Konyves (Barney’s Version), who will also executive produce alongside Schwarzenegger and the Tannenbaum Co.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand Showtime Acquires Arnold Schwarzenneger Bodybuilding Drama Pump

There is plenty of material to be mined here, and if done right, Pump could be to the fitness industry what Mad Men is to the advertising industry (though that’s a pretty tall order to meet). The THR article describes the show as seeking to explore “the origin of the present-day fitness industry and culture of body worship.” Whatever your opinions are on bodybuilding as a profession, there’s no denying that Pump could be an ideal platform through which to examine aspects of modern culture.

Perhaps the most obvious of these is the possible dangers of promoting or glorifying virtually unattainable body images and unhealthy lifestyles (bodybuilding has a long-standing reputation for being fuelled by steroid abuse) – which by itself offers the potential for a practically unlimited amount of drama storylines – but the show could also explore the connection between body worship and art, since both drawing and photography of human subjects could be considered another form of body worship.

After all, Pumping Iron opens with Schwarzenegger being taught to use ballet moves to better demonstrate his musculature and, when prompted by Butler, Schwarzenegger says that he considers his body to be a sculpture.

Is Pump what Showtime needs, or does it sound like a vanity project (in more ways than one)? Let us know what you think of this concept in the comments.


A pilot episode of Pump is already in development, but we’ll let you know if the show gets ordered to series.

Source: THR

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Pump
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  1. I’d watch that

  2. Material on body building is sure on the rise after the movie Pain and Gain. Looks to be the new trend now.

  3. Arnold, just make Legend of Conan, and I’ll be happy. Tone up a bit for it beforehand, though.

    • +1

    • I’ll 2nd that! Motion to get Arnold back in shape before Conan has passed and now goes to the floor for ratification.

  4. Loved pumping iron, use it as inspiration every time I feel demotivated and Arnie is like a guilty pleasure as weird as that sounds, haha. I will most definitely give this a shot!

  5. Didn’t The Rock have something like this in development at HBO?

    • The Rock at his best is really nothing compared to Arnold at his best, back in the day. No comparison at all. Not knocking him, as I enjoy watching him on film, but I never thought of him as a body builder, just a big guy.

  6. Pumping Iron is homoerotica.

    I love how someone who is all into body building and supports the industry had every shred of iconic memorabilia stripped in the very gym that made him famous.

    Anything for a buck.

  7. I think Bodybuilding has had its day back in the 80s and 90s ushered in from the 1970s via Ben and Jo Weider with their poster boy Arnold. Having Stallone and Schwarzenegger as top box office draws during the 80s reflects this muscle bound gym obsession. However, today I’m not so sure theirs a big market for these guys. The trimmed down, toned six-pack dude appears to be the aim nowadays while the stink of drug abuse has forever left a negative impression on the hardcore weight lifter.

  8. Is he going to be starring in this drama or just producing. I’d rather it not be the former as he’s pretty far from his Pumping Iron days now. If he’s acting it should be as a coach/mentor role rather than as the star of the show.

  9. Could be epic or total failure. Also its true he has been shitting on the BB scene in the past, somebody already mentioned him stripping his piics from Golds Gym etc.
    It’ll be interesting to see what angle this show will take on the whole steroid issue.

  10. Don’t compare amateur body building with professional bodybuilding. Just like all professional sports, steroids and other drugs are used to get ahead, whether it is legal or not. Few amateur bodybuilders use steroids because they are quite expensive and more amateurs are more concerned with natural bodybuilding.

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