Nellie Andreeva

HBO has given a pilot order to a half-hour dramedy pilot starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This marks the first TV-starring role for the movie actor/wrestler, who is executive producing the project with his Pain & Gain co-star Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson. Peter Berg is on board to direct the pilot and will executive produce, along with Johnson’s manager Dany Garcia who runs his production company. Written by Levinson, the untitled project chronicles the lives of athletes — some retired, some still active — living in Miami. Johnson will play one of them, with filming eyed for the fall.

Johnson’s collaboration with Wahlberg and his manager/ frequent producing partner Levinson on the project, based on an idea by Levinson, stems from Johnson and Wahlberg’s work together on Michael Bay’s action movie Pain & Gain, which opened at No. 1 this past weekend. The two actors also are repped by the same agency, WME. A showrunner will be brought in soon to the project, which marks Levinson’s pilot-writing debut. He has previously co-written several episodes of HBO’s Entourage, which he also executive produced with Wahlberg. Additionally, the duo executive produce HBO’s drama series Boardwalk Empire and drama pilot The Missionary.

Johnson, who continues to appear on WWE Raw, toplines and executive produces TNT’s new reality competition show The Hero, which premieres June 6. On the big screen, he next stars in Fast & Furious 6. This is WME-repped Berg’s second HBO pilot gig. He recently signed on to direct and executive produce Damon Lindelof’s The Leftovers.

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