Real Sports returns October 23

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL

PROFILES TV PERSONALITY AND FORMER NFL STAR MICHAEL STRAHAN;

SPOTLIGHTS IOWA CITY WEST HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL TEAM;

EXPLORES GAY ATHLETES’ RELUCTANCE TO COME OUT; AND

REVISITS THE TRAILBLAZING SABOL FAMILY THAT CREATED NFL FILMS

WHEN THE EMMY®-WINNING SHOW RETURNS OCT. 23, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

Now in its 18th season, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL presents more enterprising features and reporting when its 187th edition, available in HDTV, debuts TUESDAY, OCT. 23 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: Oct. 23 (3:15 a.m.), 26 (10:30 a.m., 7:00 p.m.), 28 (9:00 a.m.) and 31 (5:00 p.m., 1:00 a.m.), and Nov. 3 (11:00 a.m.), 6 (7:00 p.m.), 9 (9:00 p.m.) and 13 (midnight)

HBO2 playdates: Oct. 24 (5:10 p.m., 1:05 a.m.) and 30 (12:25 p.m., 11:00 p.m.), and Nov. 2 (noon, 9:00 p.m.), 4 (7:30 a.m.), 10 (7:35 a.m.) and 14 (8:00 a.m.)

HBO On Demand® availability: Oct. 29-Nov. 19. The show will also be available on HBO GO®.

Segments include:

            *Strahan TV. More than four years after he stopped chasing down quarterbacks for the New York Giants as a Hall-of-Fame caliber defensive end, Michael Strahan has found a new day job. The former Defensive Player of the Year is the new co-host of “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” in New York City, but still manages to spend his Sundays in Los Angeles analyzing the NFL on FOX. Host Bryant Gumbel meets with the 40-year-old to find out how he is adjusting to his new high-profile role while continuing as an engaging NFL studio analyst. Despite a nasty public divorce during his playing days, Strahan has since maintained a clean public image and was selected by ABC to replace Regis Philbin after featuring almost 60 guest hosts in their search for a new co-host for Kelly Ripa. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, Gumbel takes HBO’s cameras behind the scenes as Strahan prepares for “LIVE” and makes the transition from football to pop culture, where ratings trump sacks.

Producer: Maggie Burbank.

            *Live Like Line. In 2010, after the Iowa City West High School girls’ volleyball team won the Iowa state title, returning captain Caroline Found, the soul of the team, predicted they would repeat. But the team and community were subsequently left devastated by two tragedies in a five-month span. REAL SPORTS correspondent Frank Deford travels to Iowa City to learn how a squad of 17-year-old girls overcame their grief to achieve an ending fit for Hollywood.

Producer: Lisa Bennett.

            *Gay Pride. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier amid racial intolerance. Today, with national acceptance of the LGBT community on the rise, when will an active male athlete from one of the four major American sports come out? Despite tens of thousands of men having played in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL, nobody in one of these power leagues has acknowledged they are gay while in uniform. REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel addresses the topic in depth, exploring why athletes are so reluctant to reveal their sexual orientation until after their playing days.

Producers: Nick Dolin, Tim Walker.

            *Storytellers. Launched by Ed Sabol as a small outfit in the Philadelphia area in 1962, NFL Films grew almost as rapidly as the sport itself, setting the standard among pro sports leagues for innovative filmmaking. Ed and his son Steve built one of the NFL’s more enduring and recognizable franchises by transforming the post-production presentation of the violent world of professional football into a cinematic event. This Sept. 18, Steve died of brain cancer at age 69, just 18 months after doctors found an inoperable tumor on his brain. REAL SPORTS correspondent Frank Deford, who reported the original 2007 feature, revisits the story to measure the enormous impact pioneer Steve Sabol had on the sport he loved, and on the colleagues he nurtured.

Producers: Joe Perskie, Jake Rosenwasser.

REAL SPORTS has won the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports Journalism 15 times and has received 23 Sports Emmy® Awards overall. It is the only sports program ever honored with the duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, having first been recognized in 2005. In January, REAL SPORTS received its second duPont Award, for a series of investigative reports on concussions, highlighted by the Aug. 2010 story revealing the scientific link between sports concussions and the onset of ALS. In April, the show received the Emmy® in the category of Outstanding Sports Journalism for Bernard Goldberg’s 2011 report on the college bowl game money trail.

The executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is Rick Bernstein; Joe Perskie is senior producer.

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