SBD/Issue 19/Sports Media

Vick, BET Partnering On Series Profiling His Past, Return To NFL

Series Will Examine Vick's
Comeback And Past
Eagles QB Michael Vick is "partnering with BET for a new eight-part docu-series scheduled to air early next year" tentatively titled "The Michael Vick Project," according to Greg Braxton of the L.A. TIMES. The show would spotlight Vick's "controversial comeback ... while also examining his tumultuous past." The show's producers, DuBose Entertainment, Vick's production company MV7 Productions and Category 5 Entertainment, "emphasized the program should be considered a docu-series -- not a typical reality show like VH-1's 'The T.O. Show.'" The producers added that the tone of the show will be "serious and somber as it focuses on his personal struggles since his release, including the strains on his relationships with his fiancee ... and his children." It will "revisit the federal prison" in Leavenworth, Kansas, where Vick was imprisoned and the Virginia property where Vick "ran and financed a dogfighting ring." DuBose Entertainment Founder & CEO James DuBose, the show's Exec Producer, said that the series "would be much more illuminating than Vick's recent media interviews." Meanwhile, PETA officials have "expressed skepticism about the project" (L.A. TIMES, 10/7). Producer Brian Sher said he was "blown away" by Vick's "willingness to be honest about everything." Sher: "We met, and I was very intrigued and compelled by his story, and I've grown to like him as a person. I believed he was sincere. If I thought he was anything other than that, I wouldn't have done it" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/8).

FOCUSING ON FOOTBALL RIGHT NOW: In Philadelphia, Les Bowen reports Vick yesterday clarified that the documentary is "not currently filming." Vick: "It's on the back burner. ... I've got to play football right now." Vick added, "We haven't been shooting lately, but it's something we've been doing since I was in prison, through the bankruptcy -- it was all out then, that I was doing it. As the season goes on, I won't have time for it, but hopefully, sometime in 2010, we'll be able to pick up where we left off" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/8). ESPN.com's Jackie MacMullan said, "I wonder how Roger Goodell feels about this. I don't think this is what he meant by community service. I think he was supposed to be going out there and keeping a low profile and improving his image" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/7).

REAX: Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard said, "This is exactly what he needs to do." Le Batard: "Show people another side." But ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the program is an "ill-advised move." Kornheiser: "It would be terrible if Michael Vick had some behavioral lapse on television that made it seem like he shouldn't even be in the league. I think you hold back on this for a year or so" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/7). Meanwhile, MSNBC.com's Courtney Hazlett predicted the series will be a "fantastic success at least from a viewership standpoint." Hazlett: "There are a number of Vick fans out there who will watch for the simple reason that in the privacy of your own living room, you’re not judged for supporting a football player who preferred dogs engaged in bloodsport over dogs engaged in games of fetch" (MSNBC.com, 10/7).

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