Young Rock debuted on NBC last night, and a lot of people tuned in to see it. The show came in second in the 18-49 demographic across network television, behind only This Is Us, also on NBC. Young Rock also had the third-highest overall viewership of the night with over 5 million viewers. So it's worth considering whether the show's fictional premise, that the show's titular star, Dwayne Johnson, is running for president in 2032 and the show consists of him telling his life story in interviews to support the campaign.
Which would be an excellent way to stealth launch a real presidential campaign. Think about it: Dwayne Johnson gets to tell his entire life story, putting his own spin on things both good and bad (such as his stint as a shoplifter). Since this is just a dumb NBC sitcom, no one challenges the narrative. Then, in a few years, The Rock announces a real presidential campaign, and Americans have already bought into the image of Johnson presented in the show, not unlike the way WWE Hall-of-Famer Donald Trump, despite decades of failed businesses and bankruptcies, somehow convinced Americans he was a successful businessman because he played one on The Apprentice.
In fact, The Rock has seemingly been plotting his presidential run since Trump won in 2016, as it was immediately afterward that Johnson began making serious noise about a future run. In 2032, The Rock will be 60, and while he'll no doubt still be in great shape, the careers of even the best action stars begin to wane by that point. It would be the perfect time to transition to something else, like politics, where Johnson can continue to expand his influence. Or maybe he won't even wait that long. Best to strike while the iron is hot, after all. If Young Rock's ratings are doing well in 2024, maybe the campaign can begin early.
And if you don't want to take our word for it, just listen to what The Rock himself said in an interview with USA Today this week: "I would consider a presidential run in the future if that's what the people wanted. Truly I mean that, and I'm not flippant in any way with my answer. That would be up to the people…So I would wait, and I would listen. I would have my finger on the pulse, my ear to the ground."
Just like his family on the first episode of Young Rock, Dwayne Johnson is always working the gimmick.