HBO is making a serious run at Bill Simmons, according to the Hollywood Reporter’s Lacey Rose.
There’s been plenty of speculation about where Bill Simmons will land after his much publicized split with ESPN in May. Rose reports that Simmons has several suitors, but notes that having his own TV show is appealing to Simmons.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
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.
Though many believe Simmons’ site, Grantland, didn’t make enough money to justify his $US5 million salary, he was the owner of the most popular podcast in sports and one of the original producers of the popular “30 for 30” documentary series.
HBO has found success in documentaries and docuseries in recent years, as Rose notes, and has become the home for talk shows for John Oliver and Bill Maher. Simmons dabbled in TV with ESPN and this past year introduced “The Grantland Basketball Hour,” which struggled to draw viewers.
Earlier in June, Gawker reported a rumour that Simmons was looking to start an online subscription network with Jon Stewart, who Rose reports is also being sought after by HBO.
Though it’s unclear how Simmons would incorporate writing into any of these ventures, he’s had some success on other media platforms, and it seems his next destination will involve TV .
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