ViacomCBS has announced several new projects in recent days with some heading to TV and others to Paramount+, which viewers can subscribe to with a free trial. The latest example is a bowling comedy. Professional bowler Tom Smallwood’s life will serve as the story and will highlight his rise to prominence amid adversity.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series is yet to receive a title but will focus on the life of Smallwood. “The multicamera comedy revolves around a seemingly ordinary man who, after being laid off from the assembly line at the GM factory, makes the extraordinary decision to provide for his family by following his dream of becoming a pro bowler,” the synopsis provided by THR states.
A Michigan resident, Smallwood is a professional 10-pin bowler. He currently competes on the PBA Tour and has three titles and 181 events to his name. The list includes the PBA World Championship, PBA Scorpion Championship, PBA Players Championship, and two separate Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Awards.
“If you had given me a piece of paper on December 23, 2008, and asked me to write a story of myself, what I would have wanted to get done in the next year, I would never have written it this good,” Smallwood told Sports Illustrated in 2010. “Tour Trials. Maybe make a TV show. Stay in the top 15 or 20 on the pro tour. Not this.”
Smallwood faced early struggles in his career, leading to him taking a job at a metal shop. He later landed a job at General Motors’ Pontiac East Assembly Plant in 2008. However, he was laid off months later, two days before Christmas. Smallwood returned to the PBA Tour and has since found considerable success.
“After he won in Wichita, a couple came up to me and said they were from Michigan and both worked in the GM plant in Lansing,” said Jen Smallwood, Tom’s wife, during an with Sports Illustrated. “They said they’d been following his bowling ever since he worked at GM. There’s been a lot of support from the GM family for Tom. He took something so negative and turned it into a positive. This is what people are holding on to, I think.”
Mark Gross (Mike & Molly, Man With a Plan) will serve as the writer. He will executive produce the comedy alongside David Hollander (Ray Donovan) and Brian D’Arcy James (Hamilton, The Comey Rule). Hollander’s executive Marina Dompke will serve as a producer on the project. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.