Any one follow HBO Sports? Well, it seems a new sports program is coming in May and it will be hosted by Jim Lampley. It will be a studio-based show about the boxing scene titled FIGHT GAME according to USA Today. Mr. Lampley, who started with HBO in 1988, is at the heart of HBO Boxing calling the blow by blow for HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and BOXING AFTER DARK. He has covered all the climatic pugilistic battles over the years on the pay channel and pay-per-view. This new show is premiering on Saturday, May 12th.
In a side note – it was a shock and a mistake, in this writer’s opinion, when INSIDE THE NFL went off the channel and got scooped up by its rival SHOWTIME. It had a successful run, or so I thought, from 1977 – 2008. Do the math; that is 31 years! Ever higher licensing fees for NFL FILMS footage was a factor in that cancellation, plus with the NFL Network in the planning stages didn’t help. Jim Lampley and company now have a chance to do the same thing for boxing. Will boxing fans check it out?
Also in sports news the nominations for Sport Emmys are in. ESPN dominates here with 55, of course, but HBO garners 19 nominations. Eight of those are for the latest installments of 24/7 series including FLYERS/RANGERS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC and PACQUIAO-MARQUEZ. Also some specials received nods like MCENROE/BORG: FIRE AND ICE and up for Best Studio Host is Bryant Gumbel for REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. Speaking of which, he will interview Nic Wallenda of the famous Flying Wallendas lineage for an upcoming episode. Mr. Walenda has permission to tightrope walk over Niagara Falls this summer.
On the documentary front, HBO has picked up a popular documentary at SXSW recently. It is called THE CENTRAL PARK EFFECT and it offers a look at the variety of wild birds that can be found in the Manhattan park and the New Yorkers who lives are touched by their presence in the midst of the urban jungle. It is projected to air this summer and features locals & celebrities, like Chris Cooper & Jonathan Franzen, bird-watching. Says producer/director Jeffrey Kimball, it is about people’s connection to nature” even in the biggest of cities.
And lastly, Lars Ulrich, of my favorite band Metallica, has a small role in the next HBO FILMS production HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN. He plays a character named Joris Ivens, who was a real Dutch filmmaker who collaborated with Ernest Hemingway. More on that story in May, I promise. But, Ulrich’s small appearance makes me that more interested in seeing the film.
Well, those are my news bites for now. I just wanted to make sure that GAME OF THRONES didn’t take too much real estate here on the front pages of HBOWatch.