'Lucha Underground' GM Dorian Roldán Peña Talks About That Big New Netflix Deal
Since the first two seasons of Lucha Underground arrived on Netflix on March 15, the unique pro wrestling series has garnered a slew of new fans. And Dorian Roldán Peña, general manager, couldn’t be happier to see new eyes on the product that has gained traction over on El Rey Network.
Roldán Peña, a member of the famed Peña family, has deep roots in lucha in Mexico and beyond with promotions like AAA (Asistencia Asesoría y Administración a.k.a. Assistance, Assessment and Administration). He talked with TV Insider and detailed how the Lucha Underground deal with Netflix came together, and what it means going forward.
How long has the Netflix deal been in the works?
Dorian Roldán Peña: To us, Lucha Underground has always been a cinematic TV show featuring some of the best wrestling, and not just a wrestling show. From almost the beginning of the show, Netflix was an obvious platform we wanted to be a part of not only for the reach, but for the quality of the content that viewers can find there.
When the show first launched, it was about gaining momentum on El Rey Network and establishing a fan base. Now that we have our "Believers" behind us, it’s time to continue to expand. Lucha Underground will continue to live on El Rey as an original series with new episodes debuting every Wednesday starting on May 31, but Netflix offers a new viewing experience where new fans can find our product, and existing fans can relive some of their favorite moments.
Were there any major obstacles that prevented the deal to get finalized?
From the get-go, Season 1 was shot both in Spanish and English, but not Season 2. We had to go back and dub all of the episodes in a very short period of time. There was a very ambitious deadline, and with a lot of hard work we made it happen!
Lucha Underground has some of the most creative minds in the entertainment business behind it, so a lot of time and effort goes to creating every single piece. It takes time for that process to yield the beautiful results we have all come to love from the show.
What do you think helped get the deal get finalized? The success the show has had on El Rey Network and the growing and amazing community of fans made launching the show on Netflix a win-win.
What kind of impact do you think being on Netflix will have on the company?
For the company, I think the biggest impact will be in Latin America. It is the first time the product is available to them, and we are confident they will love it as much as our domestic "Believers" do.
Also, the company will feel the impact of the increased exposure with both English and Spanish speakers in the [United States], as this is the first time Season 2 has been released in Spanish in the U.S. as well. We have big plans for Lucha Underground as a TV show on El Rey Network, but also as a brand. This partnership helps us bring our product to another consumer.
Is the door is open for Season 3 and future seasons to be added as time goes on?
The door is wide open, and this is just the beginning for Lucha Underground and the new heights it can take. We are excited to come back to El Rey Network on May 31 after a mid-season hiatus to offer fans more of the hard-hitting action they love, but in the meantime, fans can now also catch up on Netflix.
Lucha Underground airs Wednesdays 8/7c on El Rey Network.
Catch Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.