Lost Colony Entertainment sent out the following statement Monday morning:
Foley Signs Deal With Spike TV, Rejoins ‘Hey Dude!’
When wrestler-turned-best-selling-author Mick Foley took a job earlier this year as host of World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Friday Night Smackdown” show (then on the CW Network, now airing on MyNetwork), he had to back out of the comedy “Hey Dude!,” a project he was developing at Amdram Productions along with Producers Gail Bleckman (the show’s creator), Jonathan Mankuta, Steve Strangio, and Richard O’Sullivan.
But after only a few short months as “Smackdown” color commentator, Foley came to the conclusion that the job wasn’t for him.
“Apparently Mick grew tired of [WWE head] Vince McMahon screaming in his ear,” says O’Sullivan. “It was one thing that his schedule with WWE restricted him from working on outside projects, but McMahon’s on-set behavior drove Mick to the conclusion that he’d be better off working in a less stressful environment.”
Foley worked out the remainder of his contract with WWE, then signed with a rival wrestling organization called TNA (Total Nonstop Action), which airs on the Spike cable network. That deal includes “other opportunities” for Foley to pursue his acting and writing careers.
“As we stated a few months ago, Mick needed to get out of ‘the wrestling vacuum’ and fortunately for both him and us, that’s exactly what he’s doing,” says Bleckman. “TNA and Spike see this as a great opportunity to let Mick be Mick, and we’re delighted because that means we can resume work on ‘Hey Dude!,’ which was built around Mick’s true-life personality.”
Now re-attached to the comedy project, Foley will play a character named “Mick Foley,” a former pro wrestler and author who is pursuing an acting career.
“We searched for a replacement for Mick,” says Strangio. “But the truth is, this thing was created for him and plugging someone else into it just didn’t work. We’re all extremely happy that he’s back onboard.”
Currently in talks with network execs to land “Hey Dude!” a home, producers hope to roll by Spring of 2009.
“Mick’s a unique personality who needed a unique project to suit him,” says Mankuta, who also stars in “Hey Dude!” as Foley’s best friend, Marky. “There’s nothing quite like ‘Hey Dude!’ on television and I think people are really gonna respond to that.”
Also joining “Hey Dude!” is reality show favorite Rupert Boneham (from the CBS mega-hit “Survivor”). Producers are still in talks with several other noted names to fill out what O’Sullivan says will be “the quirkiest cast on television
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