Newton was in town filming the first episodes of his new kids television show for Nickelodeon called, “All In With Cam Newton."
The show has kept the newly-crowned NFL MVP busy since a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. He was in New York on Wednesday for a star-studded event promoting it.
— Jeanine Poggi (@jpoggi) March 2, 2016
Also at the event were New England tight end Rob Gronkowski and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Gronkowski will be featured in a Nickelodeon show called “Crashletes’’ and Anthony is partnering with the network on a clothing line.
Nickelodeon announced Newton’s show, originally called “I Wanna Be,’’ in September. It will feature the first pick of the 2011 draft helping kids fulfill their dreams the way people helped him fulfill his.
Little did anybody know at the time the Panthers would reach the Super Bowl and Newton would be the league’s most valuable player. The success left the Pro Bowl quarterback little time to enjoy the offseason before spending more than 30 days in front of the camera shooting 20 episodes.
Newton hasn’t seemed to mind.
“That speaks for his passion for today’s youth,’’ said Jeff Sutphen, a Nickelodeon actor/producer working on the show. “He could have gone on vacation or just laid around and relaxed.
“Keep in mind he’s got a newborn kid (born Christmas Eve) himself. It is a huge commitment, and he’s all-in.’’
Most of the episodes are being shot in the Los Angeles area, but production will move to Charlotte the final two weeks of April.
So far Newton has made the transition from the football field to film well. But his football success has made him more recognizable.
“Obviously, this season raised his profile not only as a football player, but just visibly,’’ Sutphen said. “Even when we’re standing out on a street corner waiting to walk into a kid’s house cars will drive by and people will go, ‘Look! It’s Cam.’
“Plus, he’s 6-foot-5. He doesn’t blend into a crowd too well.’’
In each episode Newton will surprise one or two children. He’ll ask the children to share their goal, and then pair them with a mentor in the profession of choice to take them to the next level.
The goals will range from athletics to making cakes to inventing apps. One will feature a kid riding a BMX bike over ramps.
That in particular fascinated Newton.
“There’s a few things you can tell he wants to do it,’’ Sutphen said. “You can see Cam get on a bike and everyone goes, ‘NOOOO!’
“You don’t want to be the one putting the league MVP in the hospital with a broken arm. It’s like, ‘I know you want to, but let’s pull back here.’ ’’
Thirty-four kids will be featured in the 20 episodes.
Make that 35 if you count Newton.
“Cam’s just an incredibly engaging person,’’ Sutphen said. “He’s kind of a big kid himself, so it’s very easy for him to roll into someone’s house and go, ‘Oh my gosh!’
“It’s kind of like watching two kids play and try to figure out how to do things.’’
Sutphen hasn’t seen the disappointment the world saw in Newton’s abbreviated postgame interview after losing the Super Bowl.
“I just see how he’s able to come in and relate to every kid,’’ he said. “No matter what their area of expertise is, he’s got something they can tie it back to and relate to his career and his upbringing and how he got to where he is.
“That’s his big thing. He wants to say, ‘Hey, I had help getting to where I am. I want to see if I can return that favor and help these kids get to where they want to be.’ ’’