Young Rock

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Young Rock
Young Rock title.png
Season 1 episode 1 title card showing Adrian Groulx as a young Dwayne Johnson
GenreSitcom
Created by
Based onDwayne Johnson
Starring
Narrated byDwayne Johnson
ComposerNathan Matthew David
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes34
Production
Executive producers
  • Brian Gewirtz
  • Nahnatchka Khan
  • Dwayne Johnson
  • Hiram Garcia
  • Dany Garcia
  • Jeff Chiang
  • Jennifer Carreras
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companies
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original releaseFebruary 16, 2021 (2021-02-16) –
present (present)

Young Rock is an American television sitcom based upon the life of professional wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson, also known by his ring name "The Rock".[1] The series is created by Johnson, Jeff Chiang and Nahnatchka Khan and premiered on NBC on February 16, 2021. The series has received generally positive reviews from critics. In April 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.[2] A holiday special episode aired on December 15, 2021, ahead of the second-season premiere on March 15, 2022. In May 2022, the series was renewed for a third season,[3] which premiered on November 4, 2022.[4]

Premise[edit]

The sitcom is set in a frame story where Johnson is running as a candidate in the 2032 United States presidential election. Each episode involves Johnson participating in an interview or other conversation which leads him to flashback to a story from one of three periods of Johnson's life (with occasional episodes where all three periods are shown). In the first season, Johnson is depicted as a ten-year-old in Hawaii; as a high school student in Pennsylvania; and as a college student and football player at the University of Miami.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

1982[edit]

(Note: All the wrestling recurring characters who appear in 1982 also appear in 1987 and the 1990s)

1987[edit]

  • Lexie Duncan as Karen, teenage Rock's girlfriend (Duncan also plays Lisa, Karen's twin sister.)
  • Bryan Probets as Principal Boggs
  • Stephen Adams as Kevin, Teenage Rock's rival for Karen
  • Matthew Farrelly as Ric Flair
  • Jade Drane as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (season 1)
    • Ben Vandermay plays Roddy Piper in season 3.
  • Adam Ray as Vince McMahon (season 2- )
  • Taj Cross as Gabe, Dwayne's best friend in high school
  • Genevieve Hegney as Diane, Ata's employer
  • Ryan Pinkston as Downtown Bruno (season 2- )
  • Greg Larsen as wrestler Bob Owens (season 2)

1990s[edit]

2032[edit]

  • Randall Park as a future version of himself who has retired from acting and now is the host of his own news show The Straight Line with Randall Park
  • Kenny Smith as a future version of himself, now a solo sports show host, unlike Inside the NBA
  • Rosario Dawson as General Monica Jackson, the VP candidate for Dwayne Johnson's presidential campaign
  • Ata Johnson cameos as a future version of herself during an interview between Dwayne and Randall, and in the season 1 finale.
  • Ed Orgeron cameos as a future version of himself during an interview between Dwayne and Kenny Smith
  • Chelsey Crisp as Casey, a member of Dwayne's campaign staff (season 2)
  • Christopher Chen as Sandy, a member of Dwayne's campaign staff (season 2)
  • Michael Torpey as Senator/President Brayden Taft, Dwayne's opponent (season 2- )
  • Jenna Kanell as Jamie, the camerawoman on The Straight Line with Randall Park (season 2, episodes 4 and 11)
  • Dawnn Lewis as Prime Minister Angela Honig (season 3)

Guest stars[edit]

  • Bryan Probets as Principal Bogg (season 1, episodes 2 and 5)
  • Carly Daniels as Color Blind Karen (season 1, episodes 2, 8 and 11)
  • Gaby Seow as Big-Hair Karen (season 1, episodes 2, 8 and 11)
  • Jordana Beatty as Bonnie (season 1, episodes 2, 5, 8 and 11)
  • Karen Ceesay as Superintendent Broward (season 1, episode 2)
  • Michael Torpey as Senator Brayden Taft (season 1, episode 9; mentioned in season 1, episode 11)
  • Luke Hemsworth as Coach Erickson (season 1, episodes 10 and 11)
  • Heather Maltman as Rookie FBI agent (season 1, episode 11)
  • Clayton Watson as Calgary Man (season 1, episode 11)
  • Sean Astin as Man (1990s) who sold Dewey a mattress/Julian, an old schoolmate who 2032 Rock has a Twitter war with.
  • Rebecca Quin as Cyndi Lauper (season 3, episode 1)

Wrestler cameos[edit]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
111February 16, 2021 (2021-02-16)May 4, 2021 (2021-05-04)
SpecialDecember 15, 2021 (2021-12-15)
212March 15, 2022 (2022-03-15)May 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)
3TBANovember 4, 2022 (2022-11-04)TBA

Season 1 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Working the Gimmick"Nahnatchka KhanJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanFebruary 16, 2021 (2021-02-16)1015.32[9]
In 2032, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is running for President of the United States. To prove he is like the everyday American, he sits down for an interview with Randall Park, now a journalist, and begins discussing his childhood. Johnson flashbacks to his life as a young boy in Hawaii, where his famous father Rocky Johnson, a wrestler, just won a match; they later go to Rocky's mother's house to talk to the rest of the family, to the dismay of Johnson's mother. Johnson then flashbacks to his teenage years in Pennsylvania, trying to impress girls by stealing and making himself appear wealthy, while dealing with his parents struggling to make income. Johnson also reminiscences about his college years, playing for the Miami Hurricanes', but not before his father shows up to the team's gym trying to make his son look good.
22"On the Road Again"Daina ReidJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanFebruary 23, 2021 (2021-02-23)1063.61[10]
Continuing from the previous episode, Johnson continues to talk about his past in the interview with Park. As a high schooler in 1987 Pennsylvania, Johnson is continuing to lie about his wealth to impress girls, specifically a popular girl named Karen. He asks her to go on a date to his father's wrestling match, but when they attend the match, they realize it's in the middle of a flea market with very few spectators. Despite this event being slightly embarrassing to Johnson, Karen finds this interesting and continues to date him. Meanwhile, Johnson's mom Ata hangs out with a rich client whom she cleans her house for.
33"Forward, Together"Jeffrey WalkerJen D'AngeloMarch 2, 2021 (2021-03-02)1023.22[11]
Talking to his campaign manager (in 2032), Johnson begins talking about how life drastically changed when his father became famous for wrestling. Flashbacking, his younger self and his family learn from his grandmother, a wrestling promoter, that she is organizing an Island-wide wrestling tournament. However, one of the booked wrestlers backs out, claiming his mother is sick, but was actually offered more money by Greg Yao, another wrestling promoter. Rocky Johnson is also offered promotion by Yao, but Rocky is afraid he'll be left behind in the changing business. Meanwhile, Johnson's mom Ata, after being encouraged to do so, decides to pursue a career in singing on reality television, starting with singing at a restaurant.
44"Check Your Head"Jeffrey WalkerPatrick Kang & Michael LevinMarch 16, 2021 (2021-03-16)1092.96[12]
55"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"Daina ReidErik DurbinMarch 23, 2021 (2021-03-23)1072.90[13]
66"My Day with Andre"Jeffrey WalkerDavid SmithymanMarch 30, 2021 (2021-03-30)1032.58[14]
In an convention in 2032, Johnson announcing his running mate for vice president named General Monica Jackson. Flashbacking it to 1982, Dewey is spending a day with Andre the Giant, while Lia and Rocky prepares their plans for the huge Island Battle Royale. Andre had asking Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat (Ivan So) and Sgt. Slaughter to battle them in the battle royale. Meanwhile, Ata is creating an original song as her quest for stardom that showed us the quirky side of the mom of the household.
77"Johnson & Hopkins"Jeffrey WalkerErik DurbinApril 6, 2021 (2021-04-06)1102.63[15]
88"My Baby Only Drinks the Good Stuff"Daina ReidErica OyamaApril 13, 2021 (2021-04-13)1082.78[16]
99"A Lady Named Star Search"Jeffrey WalkerCindy FangApril 20, 2021 (2021-04-20)1042.64[17]
In 2032, Johnson and rival candidate senator Brayden Taft (Michael Torpey) had a debate. Flashbacking to 1982, Ata wanted to audition for Star Search. Rocky takes an unorthodox approach to helping Dewey deal with some bullies after Kenny (P.J. Holt) cut the part of the surfboard. Lia had a conflict with rival wrestling promoter Greg Yao.
1010"Good vs. Great"Jeffrey WalkerErica OyamaApril 27, 2021 (2021-04-27)1112.40[18]
1111"Election Day"Jeffrey WalkerJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanMay 4, 2021 (2021-05-04)1052.36[19]
On Election Day (in 2032), Johnson leads Taft by 4 point margin to become the next president. Johnson talks to Park ahead of his acceptance speech. Flashbacking, Dewey became the president of the Rocky Johnson Fan Club, Rocky said that her mother's Star Search audition is so pretty famous. Ata visited the Greg Yao's office to pay the price until the end of the day. Rocky and Dewey meet their parents back home to Hawaii and they meet Randy Savage. Lia was arrested for extortion after her feud with Greg. Meanwhile, in 1988, Dewey accepting his calls from coaches that he wanted to accepting him in the University of Georgia, the University of Notre Dame or the University of Southern California. Dewey had accepting the call from the University of Miami to become a football player on the road to his NFL stardom. Then in 1995, in Tampa, Dewey prepares his shot at the NFL Draft while he is in college. He watching the draft while he announcing Warren Sapp as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he did not called, then on day 2, they did not called after they announced the final draft selection has been picked. Dewey instead wanted to played for the Calgary Stampeders while in the cold. Johnson completes his interview with Park and they met the future version of Lia to attend their press conference.

Special (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
12"A Christmas Peril"Nahnatchka KhanJen D'AngeloDecember 15, 2021 (2021-12-15)2023.06[20]

Season 2 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
131"Unprecedented Fatherhood"Nahnatchka KhanJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanMarch 15, 2022 (2022-03-15)2012.55[21]
142"Seven Bucks"Jeffrey WalkerErik DurbinMarch 22, 2022 (2022-03-22)2032.32[22]
153"In Your Blood"Jeffrey WalkerCindy FangMarch 29, 2022 (2022-03-29)2052.07[23]
164"In the Dark"Cherie NowlanEric ZiobrowskiApril 5, 2022 (2022-04-05)2082.02[24]
175"What Business?"Jeffrey WalkerPatrick Kang & Michael LevinApril 12, 2022 (2022-04-12)2042.30[25]
186"Kiss and Release"Jeffrey WalkerDavid SmithymanApril 19, 2022 (2022-04-19)2061.92[26]
197"An Understanding"Cherie NowlanJen D'AngeloApril 26, 2022 (2022-04-26)2092.14[27]
208"Corpus Christi"Jeffrey WalkerHiram Garcia & Brian Gewirtz & Dwayne JohnsonMay 3, 2022 (2022-05-03)2112.14[28]
219"Backyard Brawl-B-Q"Jeffrey WalkerLaura McCrearyMay 10, 2022 (2022-05-10)2071.88[29]
2210"Rocky's Code"Cherie NowlanErik DurbinMay 17, 2022 (2022-05-17)2101.87[30]
2311"You Gotta Get Down to Get Up"Jeffrey WalkerPatrick Kang & Michael LevinMay 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)2122.34[31]
Note : In the Eastern and Central timezones, due to news coverage of the Robb Elementary School shooting, this episode was not broadcast, though it was rebroadcast on May 29, 2022, in its entirety.
2412"Let the People Decide"Jeffrey WalkerCindy Fang & David SmithymanMay 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)2132.36[31]
Note : In the Eastern and Central timezones, due to preemption for a speech from President Biden, this episode was joined in progress. It was also rebroadcast on May 29, 2022, in its entirety.

Season 3 (2022–23)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [32]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [32]U.S. viewers
(millions)
251"The People Need You"Nahnatchka KhanJeff Chiang & Nahnatchka KhanNovember 4, 2022 (2022-11-04)1.81[33]
262"Rocky Sucks"Christine GernonLaura McCrearyNovember 11, 2022 (2022-11-11)1.43[34]
273"On the Ropes"Christine GernonDavid SmithymanNovember 18, 2022 (2022-11-18)1.36[35]
284"Night of the Chi-Chi's"Chris KochCindy FangDecember 2, 2022 (2022-12-02)1.42[36]
295"Five Days"Angela TortuEric ZiobrowskiDecember 9, 2022 (2022-12-09)1.32[37]
306"Dwanta Claus"Angela TortuJen D'AngeloDecember 16, 2022 (2022-12-16)1.53[38]
317"World Pacific Wrestling"David KatzenbergPatrick Kang & Michael LevinJanuary 6, 2023 (2023-01-06)1.31[39]
328"Going Heavy"Keith PowellJeff Chlebus & Sara GhaffarJanuary 13, 2023 (2023-01-13)1.48[40]
339"It All Goes Back to Childhood"Erica OyamaDavid SmithymanJanuary 20, 2023 (2023-01-20)1.46[41]
3410"Once Upon a Time In..."Laura McCrearyCindy FangFebruary 3, 2023 (2023-02-03)TBD
3511"Know Your Role"TBATBAFebruary 10, 2023 (2023-02-10)TBD
3612"Chest to Chest"TBATBAFebruary 17, 2023 (2023-02-17)TBD

Production[edit]

Dwayne Johnson, who plays himself and is also an executive producer

Development[edit]

On January 11, 2020, NBC gave a straight-to-series order to Young Rock, a comedy series based on Dwayne Johnson's early life created by Johnson and Nahnatchka Khan and produce the series with Jeff Chiang, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, and Brian Gewirtz with Khan and Chiang writing the pilot.[42] In November 2020, production on the series commenced in Australia.[43] On January 15, 2021, it was announced that the series would premiere on February 16, 2021.[44] On April 30, 2021, NBC renewed the series for a second season,[2] again filmed in Australia.[45] A holiday special episode titled as "A Christmas Peril" aired on December 15, 2021, ahead of the second season premiere on March 15, 2022.[46][47] On May 12, 2022, NBC renewed the series for a third season,[3] which was filmed in Memphis, Tennessee.[48] The third season premiered on November 4, 2022, following Lopez vs. Lopez as a part of NBC's Friday Comedy Hour block.[4]

Casting[edit]

Three actors were cast to play Johnson at three ages from his youth.[49] On September 30, 2020, Johnson revealed that Bradley Constant was cast as 15-year-old Johnson, Uli Latukefu as 18–20-year-old Johnson, Adrian Groulx as 10-year-old Johnson, Stacey Leilua as Johnson's mother, Ata Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson as Johnson's father, Rocky Johnson, and Ana Tuisila as Johnson's grandmother, Lia Maivia.[50] On August 3, 2021, Matthew Willig was promoted to series regular for the second season.[7]

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

During the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, an inflatable CGI float featuring Dwayne Johnson in his 20s was unveiled in promotion of the television show.[51]

Home media[edit]

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released the complete first season of Young Rock on DVD and manufacture-on-demand Blu-ray on March 29, 2022.,[52] with its second season will be released on DVD and Blu-ray also as manufacture-on-demand titles on November 8, seven months after the first season's home release.[52][53]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a rating of 90% based on 31 reviews, with an average rating of 7.70/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Anchored by a winsome ensemble, Young Rock is an endearing peek behind the curtain of both Dwayne Johnson's childhood and the wild world of wrestling."[54] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[55]

Ratings[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of Young Rock
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Working the Gimmick" February 16, 2021 1.0 5.32[9] 0.4 1.38 1.4 6.70[56]
2 "On the Road Again" February 23, 2021 0.8 3.61[10] 0.3 1.07 1.1 4.68[57]
3 "Forward, Together" March 2, 2021 0.7 3.22[11] 0.3 0.96 1.0 4.19[58]
4 "Check Your Head" March 16, 2021 0.6 2.96[12]
5 "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" March 23, 2021 0.6 2.90[13]
6 "My Day With Andre" March 30, 2021 0.6 2.58[14]
7 "Johnson & Hopkins" April 6, 2021 0.5 2.63[15] 0.2 0.66 0.7 3.29[59]
8 "My Baby Only Drinks the Good Stuff" April 13, 2021 0.6 2.78[16] 0.2 0.67 0.8 3.45[60]
9 "A Lady Named Star Search" April 20, 2021 0.5 2.64[17] 0.3 0.67 0.8 3.31[61]
10 "Good vs. Great" April 27, 2021 0.5 2.40[18] 0.2 0.61 0.7 3.00[62]
11 "Election Day" May 4, 2021 0.5 2.36[19] 0.2 0.56 0.7 2.92[63]

Special[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of Young Rock
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 "A Christmas Peril" December 16, 2021 0.5 3.06[20]

Season 2[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of Young Rock
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 "Unprecedented Fatherhood" March 15, 2022 0.4 2.55[21]
2 "Seven Bucks" March 22, 2022 0.4 2.32[22]
3 "In Your Blood" March 29, 2022 0.3 2.07[23]
4 "In the Dark" April 5, 2022 0.3 2.02[24]
5 "What Business?" April 12, 2022 0.4 2.30[25]
6 "Kiss and Release" April 19, 2022 0.3 1.92[26]
7 "An Understanding" April 26, 2022 0.4 2.14[27]
8 "Corpus Christi" May 3, 2022 0.3 2.14[28]
9 "Backyard Brawl-B-Q" May 10, 2022 0.4 1.88[29]
10 "Rocky's Code" May 17, 2022 0.4 1.87[30]
11 "You Gotta Get Down to Get Up" May 24, 2022 0.4 2.34[31]
12 "Let the People Decide" May 24, 2022 0.5 2.36[31]

Season 3[edit]

Viewership and ratings per episode of Young Rock
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The People Need You" November 4, 2022 0.3 1.81[33] 0.1 0.58 0.4 2.39[64]
2 "Rocky Sucks" November 11, 2022 0.2 1.43[34] 0.2 0.62 0.4 2.05[65]
3 "On the Ropes" November 18, 2022 0.3 1.36[35] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "Night of the Chi-Chi's" December 2, 2022 0.3 1.42[36] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "Five Days" December 9, 2022 0.3 1.32[37] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "Dwanta Claus" December 16, 2022 0.3 1.53[38] TBD TBD TBD TBD
7 "World Pacific Wrestling" January 6, 2023 0.2 1.31[39] 0.1 0.48 0.4 1.79[66]
8 "Going Heavy" January 13, 2023 0.3 1.48[40] 0.2 0.55 0.4 2.03[67]
9 "It All Goes Back to Childhood" January 20, 2023 0.3 1.46[41] 0.1 0.50 0.4 1.95[68]

Accolades[edit]

The series was one of 101 out of the 200 most-popular scripted television series that received the ReFrame Stamp for the years 2020 to 2021. The stamp is awarded by the gender equity coalition ReFrame and industry database IMDbPro for film and television projects that are proven to have gender-balanced hiring, with stamps being awarded to projects that hire women, especially women of color, in four out of eight key roles for their production.[69]

Accolades received by Young Rock
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient Result Ref.
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards August 29, 2021 Best Broadcast Network Series, Comedy Young Rock Won [70]
Best Actor in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy Joseph Lee Anderson Nominated
Best Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy Stacey Leilua Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy Dwayne Johnson Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Broadcast Network or Cable Series, Comedy Ana Tuisila Nominated
August 14, 2022 Best Broadcast Network Series, Comedy Young Rock Nominated [71]
People's Choice Awards December 7, 2021 Comedy Show of 2022 Young Rock Nominated [72]
Male TV Star of 2022 Dwayne Johnson Nominated
Comedy TV Star of 2022 Dwayne Johnson Nominated
December 6, 2022 Comedy Show of 2022 Young Rock Nominated [73]
Male TV Star of 2022 Dwayne Johnson Nominated
Comedy TV Star of 2022 Dwayne Johnson Nominated

References[edit]

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