After Wednesday’s practice at UC Irvine, Rams coach Jeff Fisher was asked if HBO’s “Hard Knocks” cameras had led to any special meetings this week because it made any of the players apprehensive, act out of character, or become a distraction.
“No, we didn’t,” he said. “We’ve had several discussions with the team prior to their arrival. One of the things that was discussed numerous times was, after a couple of days it’s almost if they disappear. It’s been an exciting process, it’s been fun. The players are out here to help win games and to improve, not to make a movie. They’re not actors, they’re players.”
Just wait until Tuesday’s debut episode of six straight weeks airs at 10 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. EDT.
One can follow some of the progress of the show content so far by going to Twitter.com and hitting #HARDKNOCKS to see Rams players trying to get in some water polo reps in the UCI campus pool, and then hit the food trucks. Marty Callner, a prolific producer and director of music videos and concert TV specials for decades, is credited as the project’s creator of this whole “Hard Knocks” concept, bringing HBO and NFL Films together on the project and pitching it to the NFL owners and coaches.
How? We talked to the 69-year-old who still has executive producer credit and has three Emmys to show for it, soon to be out at Rams camp to watch the process as it all moves closer to his Malibu home for the first time.
That will be the Sunday media column topic. There’s also this recent post on ESPN.com by Steve Dilbeck on how the process is working.
Updated Sunday: Here’s the link.
What’s worthy of putting out there at this point in time (UPDATED Friday 8/5):
== The Rams will officially announce their radio team for the KSPN-AM (710) and The Sound 100.3 FM coverage, starting with the exhibition opener against the Cowboys on Aug. 13 at the Coliseum — with the play-by-play spot going to J.B. Long, better known lately for his work on the Pac-12. Former UCLA and NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew will be locked in as the analyst with former Rams player and one-time L.A. sports talk host D’Marco Farr on the sidelines.
A three-hour pregame is planned with Steve Mason, Kirk Morrison and Eric Davis, and a postgame with Travis Rodgers, Morrison and Davis, with Jeff Biggs reporting at halftime.
Yes, that’s Bob Costas leading the conga line, still not fully recovered from pink eye. Illustration by Jim Thompson
In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell was asked: If you’re giving consumers some 6,700 hours of coverage from Rio, how it it possible for you to consume all that and make decisions about what gets on the air?
“We have enormously talented people within our organization, and just as important is having the OBS — Olympic Broadcasting Service, the IOC broadcasting arm, who we work closely with — and the quality and production and the gear they’re using is the highest quality,” he said. “It affords us the ability to do things like have 1,000 people back in Stamford, Conn., knowing the pictures and the sound going back there to our announcers, it allows the viewers at home or streaming to still have a great experience as they consume the Olympics.
“The lion’s share of the attention as we get close to the Games with me are with prime time and late night. We feel good about the plans we have. We let the genie out of the bottle in London and we’re willing to take it a step further and see how it goes.”
That goes to another story angle will eventually cover — of the 30-odd sports that NBC will cover over the next two-plus weeks, more than half are with play-by-play and analysts sitting in a studio thousands of miles away, no where near the issues of Rio.
But volume control is what we’re talking about loud and clear here. Consumption habits needed for NBC’s presentation of the 2016 Rio Summer Games may need to change if you’re still stuck in the prime-time mode of waiting for results and commentary, starting with preliminary soccer matches before Friday’s Opening Ceremony and marching up to the Closing Ceremonies on Aug. 21.
The Olympic rings cast a shadow on the sand as visitors pose for photos along Copacabana Beach ahead of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. The iconic Copacabana beach will be the starting point for the road cycling race, marathon swimming and triathlon competitions during the Olympics. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
If NBC really wanted to be honest about its marketing of the upcoming 2016 Olympic Summer Games, and if it’s been paying attention to how ABC has been recently gathering viewers with its retro-game show revival, this 17-night miniseries coming up might be better packaged as “Fear Factor: The Rio Book of Revelations Tour.”
Factor in everything that has made competitors, visitors and even NBC employees fearful about boarding a plane pointed toward South America this time of year. Comedian Denis Leary eventually tweeted out: “Let’s just go all out n have a Biblical Olympics – Zika mosquitoes, poisonous snakes, random floods & fireballs released during all events.”
God help us if a Sharknado episode occurs during the polluted open water swim, and NBC fishes out a ratings winner.
With all due respect to the late, great Miss Cleo — and who could have foreseen her passing this week? — we have no vision statement about whether any of these things will actually happen.
But what if … See more at this link…
A week out from the 2016 Rio Games, trying to set our body clocks to NBC’s delayed broadcasts starting with the Opening Ceremonies, we’ve got these media notes worth posting at this point in real time:
== The Lakers-centric TWC SportsNet and KSPN-AM (710) have developed a TV simulcast of the 10 a.m.-to-noon Mychael Thompson and Mike Trudell radio show as well as the noon-to-3 p.m. Steve Mason and John Ireland show.
The five-hour block starts Wednesday.
Ireland and Trudell already work as TWC SportsNet reporters on the Lakers’ coverage.
Senior Vice President and General Manager of Time Warner Cable Sports Mark Shuken said in a statement: “We’re excited to add the Thompson & Trudell and Mason & Ireland shows to our programming block. Not only are both shows highly entertaining, but they’re also a great fit to our programming lineup, especially given our existing relationship with John Ireland, Mike Trudell, Mychal Thompson and the Lakers.”
From Scott McCarthy, VP and GM of ESPNLA: “We are thrilled to work with Time Warner Cable SportsNet to increase the shows’ exposure, allowing Los Angeles sports fans to see another side of our fantastic personalities. The synergy of our Lakers broadcast relationships makes this a natural fit and will provide fans compelling content on a daily basis.”
Ireland also made the announcement on KSPN today.
Former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason appears with his son Rivers in a scene from the documentary “Gleason.” The film follows Gleason and his wife, Michel, into the maelstrom of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, as the couple adjusts to their fluctuating reality and makes way for their son, Rivers. (Open Road Films via AP)
The Landmark (10850 W. Pico, near Westwood Blvd) is the lone L.A. theater showing this, starting Thursday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. It also has a brief opening in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and New Orleans. The doc opens nationwide on Aug. 12.
Gleason and his wife Michel appeared with Michael Straham on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday: