PROFILES NBA LEGEND AND NEW DODGERS’ OWNER MAGIC JOHNSON;
LOOKS AT FAN-ON-FAN VIOLENCE AT BIG-LEAGUE SPORTING EVENTS;
REVEALS CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S OLYMPIC PEDIGREE; AND
REVISITS THE CONTROVERSIAL SCHOLASTIC PAY-TO-PLAY SYSTEM
WHEN THE EMMY®-WINNING SHOW RETURNS SEPT. 18, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
Now in its 18th season, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL presents more enterprising features and reporting when its 186th edition, available in HDTV, debuts TUESDAY, SEPT. 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 18 (1:55 a.m.), 21 (9:30 a.m., 7:00 p.m.), 22 (8:15 a.m.), 25 (1:30 p.m., midnight), 26 (4:30 p.m.), 27 (2:50 a.m.) and 30 (8:00 a.m.), and Oct. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Sept. 19 (9:30 a.m., 9:00 p.m.), 23 (7:30 a.m.), 26 (7:30 a.m., 2:30 a.m.), 28 (7:00 p.m.) and 29 (3:00 p.m.), and Oct. 3 (1:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m.)
HBO On Demand availability: Sept. 24-Oct. 15. The show will also be available on HBO GO.
*Magic. As soon as the Los Angeles Dodgers were put up for sale last year, several billionaires who were competing to buy the storied franchise all wanted Earvin “Magic” Johnson to join their bid. His appeal went beyond his status as an NBA legend; prospective buyers were interested in his business savvy, money and leadership skills. The five-time NBA champion has been as successful in the business community as he was on the hardwood, amassing a fortune that puts him among the richest African-American businessmen in the country. After his HIV-positive diagnosis, most observers once doubted Johnson would even live to age 53, let alone thrive. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, Jon Frankel learns how the longtime face of Los Angeles basketball plans to change the city’s baseball landscape.
Producer: Nick Dolin.
*Fan-on-Fan Violence. The ballpark has always served as a refuge from the stresses of everyday life, but that sanctuary has been violated lately by fan-on-fan violence. In recent years, headline-grabbing ballpark incidents have included everything from Taser attacks and fans intentionally throwing up on one another, to stabbings, beatings and even shootings. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg looks into this troubling issue by speaking with some of the victims of these heinous attacks and attempts to find out what can be done to curb them.
Producer: Tim Walker.
*Five-Ring Circus. Olympic athletes train for years to enjoy a few glorious weeks of competition at the center of the world’s attention. Then what? As it turns out, some of them run off and join the circus. No fewer than 50 former Olympians, including gold medalists, perform for the highly acclaimed acrobatics franchise Cirque du Soleil. From swimmers to divers to gymnasts, these athletes have parlayed their talents into a second moment in the limelight. REAL SPORTS correspondent Armen Keteyian hits the Las Vegas strip to meet some of these superb athletes, who have achieved a new type of stardom.
Producers: Tim Walker.
*Sidelined. In the sports hotbed of Columbus, Ohio, Friday nights are traditionally all about high-school football. But in 2009, Fridays in some areas in and around the city became eerily quiet: no screaming crowds, no high school bands, no cheerleaders and no football. Like so many others towns across the country, Grove City was squeezed to its breaking point following the economic collapse of 2008, and the town ran out of money to fund school sports. Three years after his original report, REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel returns to Grove City to find that scholastic sports have returned from the dead, but under a system known as “pay-to-play,” which has some kids scrambling to gather funds. He reveals how the community is coping, who’s back on the field, and who’s still on the sidelines.
Producers: Beret Remak, Joe Perskie.
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.