New Showtime documentary: The scheme ‘Bear’ Bryant used to bring black players to Alabama

The latest from Showtime and producer Ross Greenburg is a don’t-miss.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News wrote his column on the documentary.

But after he joined Showtime last March, Greenburg decided to go back and serve as a driving force behind “Against The Tide” with George Roy and Steve Stern as key storytellers.

“We only devoted about six to seven minutes on that game (in the HBO documentary), and that just didn’t do justice to the depths of the story,” Greenburg explained. “It was much more intriguing and complex. It needed the full treatment.

 “To me, it remains as fascinating a story now as it was then. But it’s really a 12-year process of how it happened for Bear Bryant, and how it finally unfolded with the help of his friend, John McKay. That’s a whole other

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60 Minutes Sports: Armen Keteyian reports on first black NFL quarterbacks

Highly recommended: The latest edition of 60 Minutes Sports (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, Showtime) features a compelling report from Armen Keteyian. Here’s a preview with insights from Keteyian with the rundown below.

From Showtime:

Two decades after Jackie Robinson broke pro baseball’s color line the NFL still had no black quarterbacks, even as African Americans excelled at every other position on the field. It was pro-football’s open secret: the quarterback position was for whites only.   A handful of pioneers began to change this in 1968 and three of them tell their humiliating and often emotional stories to correspondent Armen Keteyian about an unpopular chapter in the history of America’s most-popular sport.  Keteyian also talks to the black QBs of the 1980s and ‘90s whose paths were paved by those pioneers in this rarely told story for the next edition of … Continue Reading

New 60 Minutes Sports: Lara Logan seems very enthralled with Chris Berman; makes him squirm about his wallet

The latest edition of 60 Minutes Sports (Showtime, Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET) features a Chris Berman profile by Lara Logan.

Judging from the clip below, it seems as if Logan was very much taken by Berman.

“Some guys are just funny,” Logan said. “He’s funny…He loves what he does. He cares about people.”

Hopefully, Logan will bring up the criticism that has been leveled at Berman in recent years.

Also, near the end of the video, check out Berman’s ridiculously overstuffed wallet, and how Logan makes him squirm.

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Mayweather’s new deal with Showtime: ‘Richest individual athlete deal in all sports’

This is big. From Showtime:

Undefeated eight-time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather, boxing’s pound-for-pound king and the highest paid athlete in the world (Forbes, 2012), has entered into a groundbreaking pay-per-view deal with Showtime Networks Inc. and its parent company, CBS Corporation. Under the new deal, SHOWTIME PPV® will collaborate with CBS Corporation to comprehensively promote Mayweather’s events on the CBS Television Network and via the corporation’s expansive media platforms.

The deal—a unique revenue-sharing arrangement between SHOWTIME PPV and Mayweather—will enable him to fight up to six times over a period of 30 months, with the first mega-event taking place on May 4, 2013, when Mayweather will fight Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. More details of this upcoming event will be announced shortly.

 Mayweather’s new deal is by far the biggest in the sport of boxing (specific financial details

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Programming alert: 60 Minutes Sports debuts tonight on Showtime: More Armstrong allegations

60 Minutes has done plenty of sports stories through the years. So doing a monthly sports show with 60 Minutes branding makes a lot of sense.

60 Minutes Sports is bringing out the heavy hitters for the debut on Showtime (tonight, 9 p.m. ET). Scott Pelley will have more bad news for Lance Armstrong; Bob Simon has a feature on Lionel Messi; and a report from Lara Logan on rock climbing.

I’m all for more sports journalism on TV.

Here’s the official rundown from Showtime:

The first edition of 60 MINUTES SPORTS will feature a rare interview with Lionel Messi, the record-breaking soccer player considered by many to be the best of all time.  Bob Simon went to Spain to talk to Messi, an Argentine who plays for FC Barcelona, to interview the man who just broke the 40-yr.-old record

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Jim Rome: New Showtime show key piece in his CBS puzzle

Tonight is a big night for Jim Rome. His new Jim Rome on Showtime series will debut at 10 p.m. ET.

It is a weekly one-hour show featuring interviews with athletes and celebrities. Rome has an impressive guest list for the opener: Kobe Bryant, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Perry, and Hollywood producer and franchise owner Peter Gruber.

But mostly it will be about Rome, as you can see in this clip.

Rome says, “I don’t think I’ve had my best broadcast moment yet. I’m still chasing it.”

The Showtime show is a big reason why Rome left ESPN for CBS earlier this year. The package includes a Monday-Friday show on CBS Sports Network and his radio show will be moving to the new CBS Sports Radio Network in January.

In a Q/A with me in May, Rome discussed his big move:… Continue Reading

Jim Rome to debut new Showtime show on Nov. 21

First there was a daily show on CBS Sports Network. Then he moved his radio show to the new CBS Sports Radio Network, beginning in January.

Now here’s the next addition to Rome’s bounty in leaving ESPN for CBS. On Nov. 21, Rome will host a new weekly show on Showtime. Appropriately, it will be named Jim Rome on Showtime.

Here’s the lowdown from Showtime. More to come:

Continuing to expand on his multi-year deal with CBS, JIM ROME ON SHOWTIME will make its premiere on Wednesday, November 21stat 10 p.m. ET/PT. The new, one-hour series will showcase Rome’s trademark style and opinions that have made him one of the most famous and outspoken sports broadcasters of his generation. Weekly episodes will feature a combination of provocative monologues and interviews, along with in-depth features and profiles of relevant

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Showtime pulls early plug on Marlins series; Hard Knocks won’t have Johnson this week

Miami: Home of the reality sports series this year.

Showtime evidently has seen enough of the Miami Marlins. The Franchise will conclude Wednesday, a week earlier than originally planned.

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen doesn’t blame Showtime for an early bailout on the massively disappointing Marlins. He said in the Miami Herald.

“The way we play, who wants to watch that [expletive]?” Guillen said. “I don’t want to watch it. Every time I watch an episode, I get depressed. With the voice of the [narrator] … ‘And the Marlins lost again. And they have a tough time …’

Meanwhile, the third installment of HBO’s Hard Knocks airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET. The series generated huge ratings for the Chad Johnson saga last week. Was it enough to keep viewers interested for the remainder of the series?

 … Continue Reading

Ozzie fatigue: Yet another dose of Guillen on Showtime series

I have to admit I’m suffering from Ozzie Guillen fatigue. I’ve known Ozzie since 1986 when I became the White Sox beat reporter for the Chicago Tribune. We’ve had a great relationship through the years.

However, it ended badly for Guillen in Chicago. The soap opera drama went over the top.

So perhaps that’s why I’m not all that excited about the new Showtime series, The Franchise, which debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

Didn’t we just see this show in 2010, when MLB Network did The Club, a behind-the-scenes look at the White Sox?

The Showtime series will have many of the same elements, only without the bleeps for Guillen’s colorful language. As you can see from the trailer, it’ll be more of “Ozzie being Ozzie.”

Also, there’s a new book out on Ozzie, written by Chicago … Continue Reading