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Pizzeria owner, son have signed contracts for possible TV show

July 16, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

Vinnie Schiano DiCola said he and his son, Rocky, have signed contracts with a California production company to bring them one step closer to having their lives on television.

DiCola said Friday that he signed a contract with FremantleMedia North America Inc. of Burbank, Calif., to develop a pilot for a series titled "Pizza Wrestlers."

Dick Caricofe and professional wrestler John Rambo, who run the Neil Superior Pro Wrestling Training Center in Hagerstown, also signed contracts for the pilot, they said.

"The ink on mine is not yet dry," Caricofe said of his contract.

"We are on such a cloud right now, it's hard to grasp," Rambo said.

The reality television show, if picked up by a network or cable channel, would follow the DiColas at their pizza shop on North Potomac Street and at the wrestling center where they train at night with Rambo and Caricofe.

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The contract is to film for nine months with a possible extension for three months, DiCola said.

It would pay as much as $5,000 for a 60-minute episode if it aired on a network channel, according to the terms of the contract provided to the Herald-Mail by Vinnie DiCola.

FremantleMedia has not yet found a network to air the show, DiCola said, but he is optimistic that could happen as early as next week.

"I feel like I need to be pinched so I can wake up," he said. "This is like a dream come true."

Rambo, who is no stranger to working on television, said he, Caricofe and the DiColas were pushed by FremantleMedia to sign the contracts quickly.

"The push for this was coming from their end, and that says something," he said, adding that this is the fastest media deal he has ever been part of, outside of a news story. "What I'm reading from them is that they have got something hot."

Company spokesman Manfred Westphal declined through e-mail to comment on behalf of FremantleMedia saying, "We don't comment on business contracts."

When initially contacted about the show, Caricofe said he, Rambo and the DiColas thought it was a joke.

"We ain't gonna get rich, we ain't gonna retire, but this is good," Caricofe said of the contract.

With the economy taking a toll on his pizza business, DiCola said the exposure of a television show would be a boon to his bottom line.

"I tell you the truth, with the way the economy is, business is not so good," DiCola said. "I can't wait for this. It will improve my personal life and my business life."

DiCola said he can "feel" the doors opening for him, but that Hagerstown is, and always will be, his home.

Rocky DiCola declined to comment.

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