The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first organization to present MMA through a regular season, playoffs and championship format, will launch its new original series, Inside The Season, on Wednesday. The series, presented by The Marines, will be 10 episodes long and will air on ESPNews and ESPN+. Veteran actor John C. McGinley, known for his role on the TV series Scrubs, will narrate the series, and PopCulture.com had the chance to speak with him about getting involved in Inside The Season and the PFL.
"[A friend of mine] introduced me to the PFL," McGinley said exclusively to PopCulture.com. "I went to some regular-season events on the west coast swing down in Long Beach and then I went to the semis in Vegas... I was completely seduced by the product they were creating." McGinley went on to say he was able to go in the tuck where the show was produced and saw George Greenberg, a 16-time Emmy Award winner, running the show.
"He has as many Emmys as anybody on the planet from doing the Olympics to Super Bowls," McGinley said of Greenberg. McGinley got to see how the show was produced and he then saw fighters Kayla Harrison and Ray Cooper in action. McGinley was very impressed with the format.
"It's the same as the NBA and the NFL and the MLB," he said. "There's a regular season that dictates where you fit in the playoffs and whether or not you get to advance to the championship. It appealed to me that at that level, it's really pretty pure."
Inside The Season will provide fans with unprecedented access and insight into the journey of an eight-month MMA season. The series will feature new fighter interviews, never-before-seen fight footage, access to the fighter locker rooms, takes from reporters and commentary from McGinley, who tells the story of the 2019 season. The series premiere will first air on ESPNNews at 1 a.m. ET and will then be available ESPN+. Each episode will air every Wednesday with the season finale airing on Nov. 17.
"A lot of these guys come from around the planet," McGinley said of what to expect from Inside The Season. "A concentrated number of fighters come from Tajikistan. There's a Japanese fighter that has a gold medal in Jiu-Jitsu. These guys come from around the world because the dirty little secret in a lot of MMA is the fighters get paid squat. At PFL, they get paid. And the have a chance if they make it to the championship and win the championship to get $1 million. Except for outliers like Ronda [Rousey] and Conor [McGregor], there's no such thing as a $1 million payout. Guys get squat, and the PFL have a chance to make some real money."