Bill Simmons Rumors

Bill Simmons signs with HBO

As The Hollywood Reporter first reported in an HBO cover story in mid-June, the ESPN cast-off will make HBO his exclusive TV home. At the premium cable network, Simmons will launch his own talk show in 2016. The weekly show, which will air on HBO’s linear service as well as HBO Go and HBO Now, will be both topical and spontaneous, with stories and guests across the sports and cultural landscape. As part of the multi-year, multi-platform pact, which begins in October, Simmons will also have a production deal to produce content for the network and its digital platforms, delivering video, podcasts and features as he did at ESPN. Additionally, the long-time sports personality will consult for HBO Sports, working closely with HBO Sports president Ken Hershman on non-boxing-related programming, including the development of shows and documentary films for the network.
via The Hollywood Reporter
Lombardo won’t rule out other talk shows, too, particularly if the right personality comes along. Though he’s tight-lipped about names on his wish list, he acknowledges the soon-to-be available Jon Stewart would hold appeal. “Trust me,” he says, “I’ve already had a very polite conversation.” Considerably more likely is Simmons, whom the network is said to have made a big play for after his unceremonious booting from the more corporate ESPN. Such a move would be straight out of the HBO playbook, which famously provided a creative reprieve for former ABC flameout Bill Maher many years earlier. Though Simmons is said to have several suitors, insiders say con­versations at HBO have focused on a TV show — something Simmons is believed to want — along with heavy digital extensions that make the prolific personality tailor-made for the HBO Now era.
via The Hollywood Reporter
Not long ago, the Fantasy Focus podcasts, Bill Simmons’ B.S. Report, and a stable of niche podcasts were among the best on the internet; ESPN’s podcasting empire ruled the web, and more or less deserved that success. In just a matter of years, though, the dynasty has crumbled; it’s still incredibly popular (according to an ESPN fact sheet, there were 302 million podcast downloads in 2014) but what was once unique, is simply mainstream. Though the Fantasy Focus Football podcast will still feature Berry and has the potential to still be fun and interesting, once Berry and Ravitz signed off as a team for the final time, the Fantasy Focus ceased to be what it once was. It wasn’t only be the end of this podcast, but the end of the ESPN podcasting that the internet—and even many ESPN skeptics—knew and loved.
via Awful Announcing