SBD/Issue 24/SportsBusiness Daily Exclusives

Jimmie Johnson To Be Featured In HBO's "24/7" Reality Series

By Michael Smith, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal

Johnson To Be First Non-Boxer To Star
In HBO Sports' "24/7" Reality Series
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson will be the first non-boxing subject of HBO Sports' acclaimed reality series "24/7." The four-episode, all-access series, which will be titled "24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona," will chronicle Johnson's preparations for NASCAR's biggest race and begin airing on January 26. The final installment will run February 16, two days after the Daytona 500, and include behind-the-scenes footage from the race. HBO has aired seven previous editions of "24/7," each of which followed boxers as they prepared for an upcoming fight. The series has won seven Sports Emmy Awards in the last two years. "This will be as much about Jimmie Johnson off the track as it is on the track," said HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg. "It's going to be an interesting foray into a world that not many people have ever seen."

Greenburg said HBO Sports will continue to look for "24/7" subjects outside of boxing, but the ability to go behind the scenes with Johnson and his No. 48 team at Hendrick Motorsports made this an intriguing first non-boxing subject. "Anyone that enters Jimmie's life will be incorporated into the show, some more than others," Greenburg said. "Jimmie is a nice starting point for us because there really isn't a preconceived notion about who he is. We think he's going to be an interesting character and other characters will emerge." HBO has already begun shooting and will work with NASCAR Media Group to capture content at the track. HBO's cameras will also follow Johnson, his family and friends off the track through the Daytona 500 next February.

Greenburg would not reveal how much it costs to produce a "24/7" series, but no rights fees are paid to NASCAR or its broadcast partners for the access. HBO will pay NASCAR Media Group for its production work. Johnson's reps at CAA, Jack Tiernan and Michael Levine, brought the idea to HBO, Greenburg said.

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