The esports industry is enjoying a historic rise to fame in the public’s eye. With major tournaments minting millionaires at every turn and pro gamers gaining fame similar to that of traditional athletes, people are finally starting to take notice. Just like any other sport, though, esports come with plenty of rivalry, drama, and narrative.
If that doesn’t sound like the perfect scenario for a sitcom, then nothing does. Perhaps that’s why NBC just snapped up the rights to an esports comedy show called “The Squad.” While this isn’t the first time that rumors of an esports television show have swirled, this one has a particular advantage. It boasts an executive producer by the name of Johnny Galecki—better known as Leonard Hofstadter on “The Big Bang Theory.”
Behind the scenes, television networks are constantly ordering up new shows then nixing them before a pilot even airs. Some numbers suggest that, for every 70 pilot scripts that are ordered, only 5-12 will actually become a running series. Even then, many of those new shows get a cancellation notice prior to their season finale.
In the esports sitcom arena specifically, CBS is also reportedly working on a gaming-centered comedy that is still shrouded in mystery. However, what will set “The Squad” apart is its stellar off-camera team. Not only will Galecki be on board, “Big Bang” writer Anthony Del Broccolo will serve as a co-executive producer.
While it’s unclear if Galecki will also star in the show, his involvement alone is a major momentum boost for the series. Fans will be more apt to at least give the show a shot. Of course, there should be plenty of overlap between “Big Bang” fans and esports lovers. (I myself am guilty of fitting that mold).
Currently, details about “The Squad” are sparse. However, The Hollywood Reporter did announce a sneak peek at the show’s plot.
The snippet says, “‘The Squad’ revolves around a new group of friends (and sometimes enemies) who find companionship and common ground in their mutual love of esports. The potential series explores what it means to finally find ‘your tribe’ after years of feeling like an outsider.”
For esports, there seems to be no resistance in sight. Gaming research firm Newzoo predicts that the industry will bring in $1 billion this year for the first time ever. With top gamers making upwards of $15,000 an hour for their efforts, things won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
It will be interesting to see if NBC can capitalize on this massive interest with Galecki at the helm of what will certainly be a hilarious series.