The premiere show of Fox Sports Net's BEYOND THE GLORY documentary series will feature NFL star Deion Sanders, it was announced today by Frank Sinton, FSN's Vice President, Programming. The 26-week series of original one-hour sports programs debuts with the profile of the colorful Washington Redskins standout on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 9:00 PM. BEYOND THE GLORY is a co-production of FSN and Broadband Sports, a leading producer of proprietary sports content for new media platforms.
BEYOND THE GLORY showcases contemporary sports figures in an innovative style, in contrast to the traditional biographical chronicling of athletes' on-field accomplishments. The series brings to life the person beyond the story and delves into the events that made these sports heroes who they are. Through the full participation and cooperation of the athletes, their fascinating stories are told through original interviews, fresh behind-the-scenes footage and in-depth research that enliven the profiles of sports' biggest names.
Noted Hollywood film director Ron Shelton serves as executive consultant for the series, while television/film producers Mark Angotti and Jonathan Hock are the executive producers.
The series features a diverse collection of personalities beginning with "Neon Deion" and his unparalleled career in both professional football and baseball. Sanders reveals what it's like to be "PrimeTime" and shares insights about the desires that drove him out of the projects and into the spotlight. BEYOND THE GLORY takes a close look at the decade's finest athlete, the only player to appear in both the World Series (Atlanta 1992) and the Super Bowl (49ers 1994 and Dallas 1995).
Other profiles scheduled for January include Indiana Pacers coach Isiah Thomas (Jan 14.), NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor (Jan. 21) and boxer Roberto Duran (Jan. 28).
The list of other scheduled pieces includes Utah Jazz star Karl Malone (Feb. 11), the first family of stock car racing, The Pettys (Feb. 18) and a Shelton-produced piece on the indignity suffered by former Boston Red Sox standout Bill Buckner (March 11). Yet to be scheduled, but part of the series will be looks at Pete Rose, Derek Jeter, Roy Jones, Jr., Kobe Bryant, skater Oksana Baiul and the U.S. Women's Soccer Team.
"We believe that the list of sports personalities to be chronicled in BEYOND THE GLORY represents the most interesting and celebrated names of the contemporary sports world," said Sinton. "This series will focus on sports heroes whose compelling stories have become part of sports lore around the nation and the world."
Shelton, whose resume of sports feature films includes "Bull Durham," "White Men Can't Jump," "Tin Cup," "Cobb" and "Play It To The Bone," brings his sports production expertise to the first television project of his career.
"My take on the sports world has been less about the glory, but what's really behind it. This series gives us a chance to go further and deeper, and to ask a few questions that don't always get asked about these athletes," said Shelton. "We will get a better understanding of these personalities. Typically, these days you either get dirt or publicity puff pieces. These are neither. It's a chance to really get behind the scenes."
Shelton said he's always wanted to tell the story of Buckner, who he describes as "a warrior second to none" during his 22 years in the big leagues. "That he is remembered for one play (his error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series) is patently unfair and a travesty. We'll examine his whole career and why our culture feeds off this simplistic memory."
AthletesDirect.com, a division of Broadband Sports, is the series' presenting sponsor. AthletesDirect.com is home to web sites representing more than 350 professional athletes and sports personalities, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, Cincinnati Reds' Ken Griffey Jr., and tennis' Anna Kournikova.
The BEYOND THE GLORY shows currently scheduled through March follows: Jan 7, Deion Sanders; 14 – Isiah Thomas; 21 – Lawrence Taylor; 28 – Roberto Duran
Feb. 4 – Warren Moon; 11 – Karl Malone; 18 – Petty Family
March 4 – Where Are They Now? – Bill Lee; William Perry, Buster Douglas; 11 – Bill Buckner; 18 – Sean Elliott. Other subjects confirmed for the series yet to be scheduled include: Oksana Baiul, Kobe Bryant, Jose Canseco, Michael Irvin, Derek Jeter, Roy Jones, Jr., Pete Rose, Kurt Warner, Chris Webber and the U.S. Women's Soccer Team.
Fox Sports Net reaches more than 77 million households nationwide and is a service of National Sports Partners, equally owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. and FOX. Rainbow Sports Networks incorporates Rainbow's 50% ownership of Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports National Advertising, and the ownership and management of Fox Sports Net regional networks in five of the nation's largest markets: Chicago, Florida, Ohio, New England and San Francisco.
Jay dela Cruz