Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The long-rumored E! reality series starring Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is now a reality. Network president Suzanne Kolb made the announcement today during the E! Entertainment portion of the TCA press tour. Titled What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, the six-episode series from Intuitive Entertainment will feature the “vivescent” Lochte, Kolb said, adding that E! brass wondered “How deep is the pool of Ryan Lochte? It turns out, very deep.” The episodes will feature the swimmer partying and training as he prepares for the 2016 Rio Olympics while building his fashion line, making media appearances, dealing with his close-knit and outspoken family and friends and looking for the right girl. Mechelle Collins and Kevin Dill are executive producers for Intuitive along with and Erika Wright of Wright Entertainment and Sports.
E! also announced Playing With Fire, an hourlong series on the NY culinary scene. Both series are scheduled to premiere in April.
Lochte made his E! debut as a E! News correspondent during Fashion Week. Following the London Olympics, where he won five medals, including two golds, he set his sights on a Hollywood career and has done cameos on 90210 and 30 Rock.
Playing With Fire is a six-episode docu-series that will follow the movers and shakers in New York’s restaurant industry and foodie culture. The cast includes Chef Boyardee heiress, brand ambassador and cookbook author Anna Boiardi; entrepreneurs Derek and Daniel Koch; pastry chef Julie Elkind; and Candice Kumai, a former model and Top Chef competitor who focuses on healthy eating. Jennifer Esposito, who had a much-publicized split with her CBS series Blue Bloods after her struggles with Celiac disease, will also make appearances in the series along with celebrity chef/restaurateur Todd English. Atlas Media Corp is behind the series, with Bruce David Klein serving as executive producer; Joseph Eardly and Lorri Leighton are co-executive producers.