Vice TV Expands ‘Dark Side’ Franchise With Football & ’90s Culture Spinoffs


EXCLUSIVE: Dark Side of the Ring has become Vice TV’s most-watched show, and now the youth-skewing broadcaster is expanding the franchise.

The cable network has ordered two spinoffs – Dark Side of the Football and Dark Side of the ‘90s. The two series are in production and will join a third season of Dark Side of the Ring in 2021.

This comes after Morgan Hertzan, Vice TV’s EVP & General Manager, told Deadline in April that the network was looking to explore new strands for the franchise.

Dark Side of the Football will shine a light on stories that live in the shadows of America’s favorite sport. It will explore the sometimes-flawed men behind the masks; the coaches, teams and leagues who control their fates; and the untold story behind bizarre and tragic off-the-field events — facts that often have been hidden to shield fans from discovering unsettling truths about the game they love. The series is produced by Jailbirds producer 44 Blue Productions.

Dark Side of the ’90s will look at the most captivating pop-culture moments, trends and personalities of the decade through interviews with people who studied the time period. Each episode will dissect the nostalgia, uncovering the surprising dark truths underlying the glitz, the glamour and the headlines. The series is produced by America’s Top Dog producer Railsplitter Pictures and Battle of the Blades producer Insight Productions.

The second season of Dark Side of the Ring launched at the end of March with a two-part special about the story of Chris Benoit, who killed his wife, Nancy, and 7-year-old son Daniel in 2007 before hanging himself. Other stories included the murder of Dino Bravo; the controversial “Brawl for All” tournament that led to career-ending injuries; the feared career of New Jack; David Schultz’s violent run-in with a 20/20 reporter; the death of Jimmy Snuka’s girlfriend, Nancy Argentino; the inside story of wrestling’s ultimate tag-team partnership Hawk and Animal; Herb Abrams’ fanatical attempt to build a wrestling empire; and the devastating story of Owen Hart’s stunt that went tragically wrong.

The show is Vice TV’s highest-performing series since its launch.

“We are thrilled to expand the Dark Side franchise and take a harder look at the untold stories of two our our favorite cultural touchstones: football and ’90s nostalgia,” said Morgan Hertzan, EVP and General Manager of Vice TV. “Both topics are rich with controversial characters, subjects, and events that are ripe for investigation. Dark Side of the Ring beautifully lifts the veil on the most gripping stories in wrestling, and I cannot wait for audiences to see what we uncover in our next iterations.”

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