Pitch,Fox's highly-anticipated drama about the first female pitcher in major league baseball, boasts that it's a "true story on the verge of happening."
During the show's panel at the Television Critics Association fall previews on Monday, producers and cast members were adamant that a woman breaking into male-dominated professional sports is imminent, but also that Pitch is a deeper drama than just what happens if a woman tries to play with the guys.
"This character felt different to me. It's the story of this woman, [Ginny Baker] coming of age with the lens of the whole world on her," executive producer Dan Fogelman said. "It's a show that takes place in the world of baseball, but it's really a story about this girl and these characters."
The show will obviously cover the drama that comes with being the first woman to attempt to gender-integrate Major League Baseball, but the show won't focus entirely on the meaning of that change. It will keep the focus on how a female joining the San Diego Padres would affect a real baseball team, and how the pressure of breaking this particular glass ceiling affects her ability to play the game.
"We're focusing a lot on the drama inside the team. It's a big story, when you're a sports fan like we all are, like, 'Is this a distraction for the team? Is the No. 5 starter on the team getting more attention than a No. 5 call-up normally would?'" Fogelman said. "Those are the kind of inter-personal dynamics I find most interesting."
Yet, when asked why the show only focuses on a female athlete when she breaks into a male world instead of making a show about an already female-dominated or integrated sport (like softball, boxing or formula car racing) Pitch star Kylie Bunbury was adamant that baseball was key.
"She enjoys playing baseball. I know a lot of girls that played baseball and then got to a certain age and couldn't play anymore. They had to play softball," Bunbury said. "This girl just wants to play baseball. That's what she wants to do."
Pitch premieres Thursday Sept. 22 at 9/8c.