ESPN TO LAUNCH H.S. FOOTBALL REALITY SERIES
BOUND FOR GLORY TO DEBUT SEPTEMBER 20
SERIES TO FEATURE NFL LEGEND DICK BUTKUS
ESPN will premiere Bound for Glory, a primetime reality-based series featuring NFL legend Dick Butkus as head coach and "savior" of a once-proud high school football program. The eight, one-hour episodes will be aired Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN beginning September 20.
Bound for Glory will be co-produced under the ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) banner in conjunction with executive producing partners Ben Silverman of Reveille, a leading independent production and distribution company (The Office, 30 Days, BlowOut), and Robert Riesenberg of Full Circle Entertainment, the TV production arm of Omicom (The Restaurant, The Winning Season, House Rules). This series represents the fifth project between Riesenberg and Silverman who earlier co-produced The Restaurant and Blowout among others.
Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler of Actual Reality Pictures (The War Room, 30 Days) and Clay Newbill (The Bachelorette, The Mole) will serve as executive producers, along with H.T. Owens and Tracy Dorsey. Darryl M. Silver (The Apprentice and Survivor) and Stephen David, who developed the series concept will also serve as executive producers on the project.
The series will document the season of the Montour Spartans of McKees Rocks, Pa., a small town in western Pennsylvania and told through the eyes and ears of the players, coaches, teachers, families and friends. The high school football team, which once celebrated heroic triumphs and local stars heading to the NFL, has fallen on hard times - only making the playoffs just once in the past seven years.
Bound for Glory is about to change all that -- enter Coach Butkus. The Hall of Fame middle linebacker will become head coach for one season, giving the team a much-needed makeover. He will provide discipline, inspiration and drive to help restore the team to its once glorious past. Butkus will be assisted by friends from Hollywood and the sports world, such as former NFL cornerback Ray Crockett (Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs) doing everything from livening up the school band to teaching the cheerleading squad some new moves. Not only will the team be invigorated, but the whole program will have new life.
"People are fascinated by high school sports because it's real," said Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment. "This is real drama, it's a real town, real kids, and we think people will respond to it. Each show will be dramatic, meaningful, entertaining and inspirational."
Ben Silverman, President & CEO of Reveille, said, "This is one of Reveille's favorite projects and one of the best ideas we've ever acquired & developed. We're proud to have assembled this talented group of producers and know this will make Bound For Glory a true success."
Robert Riesenberg, President & CEO of Full Circle Entertainment, said, "Bound For Glory pays tribute to the underdog and in so doing, embodies the American spirit in a very identifiable way. ESPN is the perfect network for this series and we're excited to be part of their growing commitment to original entertainment programming."