On the heels of HBO's increasing success with behind-the-scenes sports series, Showtime is giving it a go with the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The up-close with the team production will be broadcast over a longer time period than HBO notables "Hard Knocks" and "24/7."
Working with Major League Baseball Productions, Showtime cameras will be embedded with the team and follow the Giants from spring training until their season 2011 ends. The untitled series premiere will kick off around the beginning of the season with a special, while the remainder will air on a regularly scheduled basis during the second half of the season.
The Giants have several mercurial personalities, none more than pitchers Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson.
The HBO shows focus on teams or athletes in a condensed period leading up to a high-profile event, such as the beginning of the NFL season in "Hard Knocks," which follows an NFL team in training camp.
Showtime has unscripted sports commentary programming such as "Inside the NFL," which was on HBO for years. The pay-TV network could be trying to build a baseball outside-the-lines franchise.
David Nevins, president of entertainment at Showtime, oversaw production on NBC's "Friday Night Lights" and stated he's "received numerous pitches over the years for scripted shows about the world of professional sports, but nothing can capture the drama and intensity of the real thing."