“I think this is going to happen in my lifetime,” Pitch creator/EP Dan Fogelman said about the notion of a female MLB pitcher, at the heart of his new Fox series about just that. “I think this is going to happen sooner rather than later…A lot of people, when they see the trailers, literally say, ‘Is this based on a true story?’ I think it’s going to happen soon and in multiple sports, ” Fogelman said, noting EP/director Paris Barclay has called it “a true story that’s on the cusp of happening.”
This in response to a question from a TV critic at TCA this morning, wondering if, Pitch would pave the way, in much the same way Fox drama series 24, with its African American POTUS, paved the way for Barack Obama’s election. This was maybe giving 24 a tad too much credit and Obama a tad too little but, if so, no one on stage thought to mention.
The story of Ginny Baker, played by Kylie Bunbury, is being produced in association with Major League Baseball.
When it happens, in real life, the young woman “will become the biggest story in the country overnight,” Fogelman forecast.
The EP’s on stage maybe should have anticipated that one of the female TV critics might note there already are plenty of sports in which women are on equal footing with men and ask, like she meant it to sting, why they did not do a story about a women’s soccer team and instead felt a series about a woman athlete needs to be one about a woman trying to break into “the boys game.”
Fogelman called it a “fair question,” but insisted the series is “outside the world of sports” and is about all the attention the country and the world would give to a woman breaking into major league baseball. “It’s about the attention and the scope,” he said, speculating a woman breaking into MLB would be “a monstrous story on a narrative scale.” Which is not to say there isn’t a great story out there about a woman’s soccer team,” he added, diplomatically.
The series is being done with the participation on Major League Baseball; Fox’s Major League Baseball broadcast “team,” worked on the pilot EP/director Paris Barclay said, noting it was an expensive pilot. Fox is teaming up with Access Sports Media to bring the premiere episode to baseball venues nationwide.
To help launch the series, Pitch Night at the Ballpark will be held in 43 different Minor League stadiums and 12 independent and college summer league ballparks across the country during the months of August and September. After games, ticket holders will be able to watch the pilot episode of Pitch on the centerfield scoreboard.
Pitch is a production of 20th Century Fox Television. Fogelman and Rick Singer are co-creators and executive producers. Kevin Falls, Tony Bill, Helen Bartlett and Jess Rosenthal also executive producers. Paris Barclay serves as director and executive producer.
Pitch premieres Thursday, September 22 at 9 PM on Fox.