The CW hit series All-American will be premiering its third season later tonight. The show, based on the life of a former seven-year NFL veteran and Super Bowl Champion Spencer Paysinger, has become a hit with audiences everywhere.
Paysinger grew up in South Central Los Angeles but went to high school in Beverly Hills. After graduating, Paysinger attended the University of Oregon playing for Chip Kelly, who is now the head coach at UCLA.
Following his time in Eugene, he had a chance to play in the NFL. He went undrafted in 2011 but was signed as a free agent and went on to win a Super Bowl with the New York Giants.
Paysinger recently sat down with ONE37pm to discuss All-American's upcoming season, supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement, his thoughts on Nipsey Hussle's passing, and how his personal story sparked a pop culture hit.
ONE37pm: When you get that first phone call from Warner Brothers after writing your one-sheet detailing what All-American could be, did you see the series headed into its third season?
Paysinger: I honestly couldn't see that far ahead at the time. I had one foot out of the NFL mentally, and I was actively pursuing things off the field to have that transition. But, when they called, and I set up that initial meeting, it was one of those we will see where this can go. At the time, I knew for the most part how hard it was to get a show off the ground. However, it was not until we were in the weeds of it; I completely overshot my understanding of it. It is ten to 20 times harder to get a show off the ground, and going into the third season, and it wasn't even on my mind.
ONE37pm: From your perspective, why do you feel that not only your personal story but the show has clicked with pop culture?
Paysinger: One, it's great; two, it lets me connect with a lot of fans out there and even connecting with old teammates. I did not realize some of the things that were going on in my life when we were playing together. This was cool because it allows us to reconnect in that capacity and be a part of a show like this going into its third season that has come to the forefront in pop culture.
I always said, and this was when we were shooting the pilot playfully, saying every seven to ten years, there is this high school phenom show that grabs different demographics. Whether it is stories, representation, or that salaciousness of it and I felt at the time, we had all the pieces to be that show. So, you fast forward, and I would argue that we are that show.
That you can look back in 10 to 15 years, we will be aligned with The OC, Friday Night Lights, and maybe Gossip Girls, and whatnot. So, I am happy to shepherd this project through, but this show would not be where it is today if it wasn't for our showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll and our amazing writers' room.
ONE37pm: How much do you think it helped the show that it was listed under Netflix's top-ten shows to watch?
Paysinger: Yeah, even going back to the first season, I chose to believe that if we didn't pop off on Netflix after that first season, we might not be entering our third season.
Netflix gave us a huge bump in viewership and reach. So, the fact that we hit at excellent times, in my opinion, and I think we hit Netflix after two or three weeks of the pandemic. It gave a lot of people time to take in our show.