TV network WGN America has announced the premiere of a new reality TV series set in Arkansas and slated to appear in 2015. The show, brought to us by the same production team behind the absurd, now-classic “Clash of the Ozarks,” will be titled “Wrestling with Death,” and will focus on the Latham family of Osceola, who are described by WGN as “morticians by day who run the Wilson Funeral Home and professional wrestlers by night who run the Mid-Southern Championship Wrestling League.” If you can put aside your concerns about media representations of the Natural State, it’s hard to argue with the fact that this show sounds genuinely excellent. “The family that wrassles together, stays together,” as one character in the trailer puts it.
The show was created by a group called Leftfield Pictures, the same team behind “Clash of the Ozarks,” which I wrote about in March. For that piece, I interview David George, vice president of programming at Leftfield and a producer on the new show as well (plus series like “Truck Stop Missouri,” “Guntucky,” “Hillbillies for Hire,” and “Cajun Pawn Stars”). “Production companies make a big mistake when they try to stereotype the South,” he told me then. “And we consciously made a decision that we were not going to go down that road.”