GOES BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE “NBA ON TNT” STUDIO SHOW;
PROFILES FALLON FOX, THE FIRST OPENLY TRANSGENDER MMA FIGHTER;
INVESTIGATES ALLEGED UNSAFE DOG-BREEDING PRACTICES; AND
REVISITS THE INSPIRATIONAL STORY OF THE HOYTS
WHEN THE EMMY®-WINNING SHOW RETURNS APRIL 22, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, TV’s most honored sports journalism series, continues its 20th season with more enterprising features and reporting when the show’s 205th edition debuts TUESDAY, APRIL 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: April 22 (2:45 a.m.), 24 (3:00 p.m.) and 28 (10:30 a.m., 7:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), and May 2 (11:00 a.m.), 3 (10:30 a.m.), 14 (5:00 p.m., 4:40 a.m.) and 18 (8:00 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 25 (10:45 a.m., 8:30 p.m.), 27 (1:15 p.m., 12:50 a.m.) and 30 (4:00 p.m., 4:00 a.m.), and May 6 (noon, 8:00 p.m.), 12 (11:00 p.m.) and 17 (10:15 a.m.)
HBO On Demand® availability: April 23-May 19
*NBA on TNT. It’s the most unpredictable, freewheeling and politically incorrect studio sports show on TV. The studio portion of “NBA on TNT” had its genesis in 2000 when the network landed former NBA star Charles Barkley, whose continued loyalty has enabled it to flourish. Ernie Johnson serves as the host and referee as analysts Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal debate sports, history, art and politics while reviewing the games at hand. It’s both the NBA’s longest-running coverage program, as well as TNT’s most-tenured show. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg goes behind the scenes with the all-star crew at TNT’s Atlanta headquarters as the NBA playoffs approach.
Producer: Tim Walker.
*Fallon Fox. Boyd Burton was born into a conservative religious family in Toledo, Ohio, in 1975. Nearly 30 years later, after extended struggles with sexual identity issues, he underwent gender-reassignment surgery, and assumed the name Fallon Fox. Since turning pro in mixed martial arts 2012 and being outed by a reporter in 2013, Fox, 38, is now the most prominent transgender athlete in professional sports and a reluctant trailblazer for the transgender community. The reaction from the MMA community has largely been hostile, with many fans and fighters opposing her participation in the women’s divisions because they believe her male attributes provide an unfair advantage. Despite the scrutiny, Fox continues to fight. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated segment, correspondent Mary Carillo goes one-on-one with Fox to learn about her struggles for acceptance and legitimacy in a sport where many still view her as a man.
Producer: Jake Rosenwasser.
*Producing Perfection. The Westminster Dog Show is one of the country’s oldest sporting events, and certainly the most adorable, but more than 20,000 dog shows are held nationwide each year. While the sport’s growth is a boon for fervent dog lovers, it may not be as rewarding to some of the dogs themselves. During competition, animals are judged on how closely they represent the “breed standard,” and some critics say this leads to the questionable breeding of dogs for beauty over health. Soledad O’Brien leads this REAL SPORTS examination of the world of competitive dog shows and the sport’s repercussions on dog health, in and outside the show ring.
Producer: Jason Samuels.
*Long May You Run. Introduced to REAL SPORTS viewers in Mary Carillo’s Sports Emmy®-winning 2005 segment, New Englanders Dick Hoyt and his son Rick have given new meaning to the term “family bond.” Rick was born in 1962 after a complicated labor in which a coiled umbilical cord cut off oxygen to his brain. Rejecting doctors’ recommendations to institutionalize him, the Hoyts were committed to raising their son as normally as possible, believing Rick had a healthy mind despite his physical handicaps. With the help of Tufts University, which developed cutting-edge technology allowing Rick to communicate through head movements, the Hoyts discovered he was a natural sports fan. In 1977, Dick pushed his son’s wheelchair through a five-mile benefit run and found the race gave Rick the miraculous feeling of being able-bodied. Dick subsequently dedicated his life to giving his son that experience as often as possible, and the two have been regulars at road races and triathlons ever since.
After more than 30 years of competition, when Dick’s body could no longer take the pounding, they decided to retire from longer endurance races. Intending to finish in 2013 where they began, at the Boston Marathon, the Hoyts were unable to complete the run when bombs exploded. This year, joined by REAL SPORTS correspondent Mary Carillo, they’ll be back in Massachusetts to finish their final Boston Marathon.
Producers: Nisreen Habbal, Joe Perskie.
REAL SPORTS was the sole sports program recognized by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication with a 2012 George F. Peabody Award for broadcast excellence. In addition, it is the only sports program ever honored with two duPont Awards, first in 2005 and again in 2012.
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL debuted April 2, 1995 and has gone on to win the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports Journalism 15 times, receiving 25 Sports Emmy® Awards overall.
Follow REAL SPORTS updates on HBO.com/realsports and facebook.com/realsports, or join the conversation on Twitter using #RealSports. Immediately following the debut of this month’s show on April 22, viewers can log on to hbo.com/realsports for a special overtime session hosted by Bryant Gumbel.
The executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is Rick Bernstein; Joe Perskie is senior producer.