Hogan Knows Best is an American television show produced by Pink Sneakers Productions and centered on the family life of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea). Often focusing on the Hogans' raising of their children, and on Hulk Hogan's attempts to manage and assist in his children's burgeoning careers. The title of the show is a play on the title of a show from the 1950s, Father Knows Best. After the cancellation of Hogan Knows Best in 2007, a spin-off entitled Brooke Knows Best debuted in 2008, and was cancelled in 2009.
The series premiered on July 10, 2005 with a 1.9 (cable Nielsen rating), representing the largest audience for a VH1 premiere ever at that time.It began airing on CMT in early 2006 and also airs on TMF, MTV and Bio. in the UK and Ireland, TVtropolis in Canada, MusiquePlus in French Canadian (in French, the show is Hogan a raison, "Hogan is right"), Both VH1 (Seasons 1 - 3) and MTV (Season 4) in Australia, MTV Italia in Italy (in English with Italian subtitles), MTV Central in Germany and Austria (in English with German subtitles), VH1, MTV Portugal in Portugal (in English with Portuguese subtitles), in The Netherlands on MTV Netherlands with Dutch subtitles and in India on VH1, in France on Game one (le monde merveilleux de Hulk Hogan, "The Wonderful World of Hulk Hogan"), C4 and The Box in New Zealand. in Norway both on MTV Norway and VH1 with Norwegian subtitles, in Latin America with Spanish subtitles on VH1 (in Spanish, the show is Papá Hogan a la Lucha!) and in Brazil with Portuguese subtitles on VH1 (the show is called Papai Hogan Sabe Tudo or "'Daddy Hogan Knows Best'"). In Finland with Finnish subtitles on Sub and MTV Finland (the show is called Hurjat Hoganit, Furious Hogans).
The show was originally pitched and offered to Hulk Hogan prior to his famous WrestleMania X8 "Icon vs. Icon" match with The Rock in 2002. It chronicled Hogan's return to the World Wrestling Entertainment after the demise of the World Championship Wrestling and surgery on both of his knees. Hogan declined. However, after later noticing the success of pop stars such as Hilary Duff and Britney Spears, Hogan accepted a deal to do the show as a way to help promote daughter Brooke's singing career. In the episode "Hulkamania Forever", Hulk also mentions that the family has no source of income as lawyer & music studio bills in excess of $200,000 had come in recently.
Hogan explains in his 2009 autobiography My Life Outside the Ring, that paying unionized camera crews to film subjects continuously until something telegenic or dramatic occurs would prohibitively expensive, and that as a result, shows such as Hogan Knows Best are "soft-scripted", and follow a tightly regimented shooting schedule that allows for typical work-related considerations such as lunch breaks. When filming soft-scripted shows, the subjects are given a scenario by the producers to act out, perhaps an exaggerated version of something likely to be encountered in their real lives, are informed of the outcome, and possible "beats" in between, and instructed to improvise, which Hogan says is a version of what he did as a professional wrestler. According to Hogan, this would result in behavior that members of his family would never exhibit in real life, as when his son, Nick tossed water balloons at neighbors from a window, or when his wife would wake up early to apply makeup and do her hair before camera crews arrived to film shots of the couple sleeping.
It was reported that taping for an additional season of Hogan Knows Best halted in the summer of 2007, before it was finally determined that the show was canceled in early 2008 due to problems involving Nick, Linda, and Terry Bollea.
On August 26, 2007, Nick was involved in a car crash while speeding in his Toyota Supra in Clearwater, Florida. Nick was sent to the hospital and released the following morning. However, his friend was seriously injured as a result of the car accident. Nick was charged with a felony for reckless driving and underage drinking. Also he was charged with violating limits on blood alcohol levels while driving. He was arrested on November 7, 2007, and sent to jail. However, his parents released him on a $10,000 bond shortly thereafter. Nick's friend, 22 year-old active-duty Marine John Graziano, is now on life support with serious brain injuries. It is now expected that he will require lifelong care, requiring him to spend the remainder of his life in a nursing home. The Hogan family issued a statement on how they were saddened that criminal charges had been filed against Nick, and how John was not wearing his seatbelt, but that Nick was. On May 9, 2008, Bollea entered a no contest plea and was sentenced to eight months in Pinellas County Jail.
In 2007 while the Hogan family was shooting Hogan Knows Best, Hulk Hogan allegedly cheated on Linda Hogan with a female friend of his daughter's, Christiane Plante. Plante, the one to confess to the affair with Hulk Hogan, worked with Brooke Hogan on her 2006 album. Plante, 21 years younger than Hulk Hogan, claimed: "My relationship with Terry began at a time when Terry and Linda privately knew their marriage was ending. She had left him already, although no official papers had been filed. Terry is a good man, good father and a good friend, and he and I grew close at a time when he was going through a very difficult period. It seemed right then, but I know it was wrong. Having felt the guilt and pain build up, I gave a note to Brooke apologizing for my actions. I will never be able to fully forgive myself for this. I have lost an amazing friend."
On November 24, 2007, it was announced that Linda filed for divorce from Hulk Hogan after 24 years of marriage. Hogan was uninformed of this until a reporter showed him the paperwork submitted by his wife. Linda had been away from him for three weeks in California when she submitted the paperwork. In court papers, Linda states the marriage is "irretrievably broken." In the court papers, she also addresses custody of their son, Nick, asking for primary physical custody of him, while Hulk would receive "liberal visitation and access to the child." Linda is reportedly seeking half of the couple's $9.5m in assets, including a stake in their Bellaire mansion in Florida. In addition, Linda also asks for alimony, child support, and Hulk to pay for Nick's health insurance and take out a life insurance policy to cover child support for Nick if necessary.
After filing for divorce in November 2007, Linda (48 at the time) began dating Charlie Hill (19 at the time) in December 2007. Hill was a student at Brooke and Nick's high school, one grade above Nick and one grade below Brooke. In November 2008, Linda revealed to the public that she made the decision to end her marriage after finding out about Hulk Hogan's alleged affair.
Due to the accident and legal issues that surrounded Nick and the divorce between Linda and Terry, the show was canceled. After the show's cancellation, a spin-off came out entitled Brooke Knows Best which focuses on Brooke Hogan independent from her parents, living with two roommates. The spin-off was ended the following year after two seasons.
- Terry "Hulk" Hogan is represented on the show as a protective and somewhat strict father, particularly with regard to the opposite sex being anywhere near his daughter, Brooke. On more than one occasion, he has schemed ways to spy on her when hanging out with guys. However, because of a competition involving finding the right boyfriend for Brooke, Terry wanted to win so badly that he actually encouraged Brooke to be together with the young man he chose for her. The young man was Davey Boy Smith's son, Harry Smith. His career as a wrestler has taken its toll on his body, including weak knees and an artificial hip replacement, though he still works out in order to maintain his physique. He has also claimed, on the show, that he had his teeth knocked out six times and his nose broken twelve times. In an effort to conceal his baldness, he usually wears a hat or bandanna.
- Linda Marie Hogan is Hogan's wife. An ardent animal lover, she temporarily took a baby chimpanzee into the house in one episode, and seriously considered adopting it. Between her and Hulk, she is the more lenient parent. She has serious reservations about Hulk returning to the ring, and about her son contemplating a wrestling career.
- Brooke Hogan is Hulk and Linda's teenage daughter, who produced a new song to kick off her career, and signed a $1.3 million contract when she turned eighteen. Hulk's nickname for her is "Brooke-tini." On the show, she made crude remarks about Harry Smith's appearance and the two never hit it off.
- Nick Hogan is Hulk and Linda's son, who is two years younger than Brooke. Nick is always up to antics. Although Nick and Brooke have an amicable relationship overall, there are moments when they take pleasure in getting one another in trouble. Nick aspires to be a professional wrestler, though his father has encouraged him to take acting lessons in order to improve his sense of showmanship. Nick was a professional drifter for Dodge until July 2007. He got his Formula-D license in 2006.
- Brian Knobbs is Hulk's longtime friend and former wrestler, half of the Tag team The Nasty Boys. Knobbs often comes to stay with the family, much to Linda's dismay. He also comes to babysit Nick and Brooke when Hulk and Linda go on romantic trips. Brooke and Nick refer to him as "Uncle Knobbs." He is often seen being joking and sarcastic.
Hogan Knows Best Seasons 1, 2, & 3 were released on DVD on September 25, 2007 exclusively at Suncoast and FYE.
Hogan Knows Best Season 1 was released on DVD regions 2 and 4 in early 2008. Known Release Countries are Germany, Norway and Australia.
Hogan Knows Best Season 2 was released on region 4 DVD by Magna Pacific in May 2010.