Now Simmons get his own show. Yet another toy to play with under the ESPN umbrella.
The official announcement from ESPN:
ESPN will debut the first Grantland-branded television series – The Grantland Basketball Show – featuring Grantland Editor-in-chief Bill Simmons, on Tuesday, October 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Grantland Basketball Show will feature lively discussion about a variety of NBA topics, facilitated by Simmons, with a rotating group of Grantland commentators and other contributors. Up to 18 one-hour, primetime episodes of The Grantland Basketball Show will air throughout the NBA season on ESPN, including eight during the regular-season and eight during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. Other episodes are planned for the NBA Draft and the NBA’s free agency period.
The Grantland Basketball Show will emanate from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center. Elements from the show will also be showcased on several ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter and Grantland. As a result of the new NBA opportunity, Simmons will no longer appear as an analyst on NBA Countdown. He will continue to serve as Editor-in-chief of Grantland and co-executive producer of 30 for 30.
The Grantland Basketball Show will be created as one of the first projects from ESPN’s new Exit 31 production studio, overseen by Marie Donoghue, [senior vice president, global strategy, business development and business affairs]. Production for The Grantland Basketball Show will be overseen by Connor Schell, [vice president and executive producer, ESPN Films and original content].
John Wildhack, executive vice president, production and programming:
“We’re thrilled that Bill will continue to have a presence as part of ESPN’s NBA television efforts. The nature of The Grantland Basketball Show schedule will allow Bill to stay connected to the sport he loves, while focusing on his other priorities, including the successful Grantland site and the acclaimed 30 for 30 series.”
Marie Donoghue, senior vice president, global strategy, business development and business affairs:
“The Grantland Basketball Show is a great step forward for Grantland as it continues to evolve and to expand its presence across ESPN platforms. In addition, this show is precisely the type of innovative, smart content we’re aiming to create at Exit 31. Bill is one of the industry’s leading commentators, who also happens to be a human NBA encyclopedia, with a vast knowledge of the league and its history. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Bill and help bring his vision to life.”