Brand new Emmy player ATT’s Audience Network brought a unique family drama set in the world of Mixed Martial Arts , Kingdom, to Deadline’s first-ever Contenders Emmys all day event that took place in front of a packed DGA Theatre full of Television Academy and key guild members.
Creator and Showrunner Byron Balasco said he was a fan of MMA before tackling this project which at its heart is really a family drama that has universal appeal. He also emphasizes in our conversation (click the link above to watch) that it is not all dour, but has many moments of levity and heart thanks to his well-chosen cast of actors. Joining us on the panel were two of them including Frank Grillo who plays the father and Jonathan Tucker as one of his sons. Grillo said the MMA world was not too far from what he has experienced in his own life having wrestled and boxed. He praises the show for dealing with the “ups and downs” of what many families go through. Tucker points to one particularly harrowing scene where he has heroin with his mother, but says the show honestly deals with issues of addiction, abandonment and basically the stuff of life. Check out our talk at Contenders Emmys.