Fox announced several series orders for the 2016-17 television season on Tuesday, with a slate that includes a 24 spinoff and adaptations of The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon movies. But one of those upcoming shows could be of interest to sports fans.
Pitch will follow the story of a female pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in the major leagues. Kylie Bunbury (Under the Dome) portrays Ginny Baker, the pitcher who breaks MLB’s gender barrier with the San Diego Padres. The show also stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar as an All-Star catcher and Baker’s teammate. Mark Consuelos plays the team’s general manager and Elisabeth Shue is Butler’s personal guru.
The show is teaming with Major League Baseball on the series (perhaps not a surprise since Fox is a TV partner with MLB), giving Pitch access to the actual teams, uniforms, logos and ballparks. Real MLB players will also make appearances, though none have yet been announced. With San Diego hosting the MLB All-Star Game this summer and the Padres being the featured team on the series, perhaps several cameos will be taped that week at Petco Park.
Here’s an interview with Bunbury, if you’re unfamiliar with her work:
Executive producer and writer Dan Fogelman (Grandfathered, Galavant) spoke to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Lesley Goldberg and explained how important it was for him to get MLB involved with the show.
“I didn’t want to do fictional baseball teams and uniforms and that sort of thing,” Fogelman said.
“I was very hopeful because it’s such a natural fit between Fox and MLB. I first got everyone at Fox excited about the conceit of the show. The next step was going to New York and meeting with MLB and I pitched them the show and told them what I wanted to do to see if they’d be interested in coming on board.”
Fogelman also mentioned that Fox MLB analyst C.J. Nitkowski is consulting on the script, along with fellow former major league pitcher Gregg Olson. Alan Jaeger, who has worked with Barry Zito, Dan Haren and Andrew Bailey, among others, will also work with the cast to help make the baseball scenes look authentic.
Though Pitch is in the early stages of production, it would seem like a natural fit to have the show ready for late fall or early winter and be promoted during Fox’s MLB postseason coverage. Considering that the series has a long way to go through development, that might be hoping for a bit much. Though Fogelman acknowledged it was a possibility if the production goes smoothly.