SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Media

Showtime Partners With MLB Productions For Series Featuring Giants

Showtime cameras will shoot Giants for 10 months, beginning during offseason
Showtime is teaming with MLB Productions and the Giants for a new series chronicling the team's '11 season. The soon-to-be-titled series is currently in production and will be shot over the course of 10 months in numerous locations. Showtime will feature the Giants during their offseason and Spring Training, and the network will be embedded with the team during the regular season. The series is set to premiere with a preview episode timed to the opening week of the '11 season, followed by regularly scheduled episodes during the second half of the season (Showtime). Showtime Entertainment President David Nevins said that he "started talks with a small group of baseball clubs toward the end of last season with the aim of doing an in-depth behind the scenes series." Nevins: "It became clear the Giants had the right selection of players and personalities and later when they won the World Series, it was a compelling choice." Nevins said that he "hoped to interest other baseball teams in the future ... if the show is a success." Nevins: "Ideally it's the beginning of a franchise with a different team every year." Showtime indicated that camera crews will be "embedded for 10 months with the team, its management and wives and girlfriends of the players" (REUTERS, 1/14).

: In S.F., Henry Schulman wrote the series "could benefit the Giants by providing exposure to an entertaining cast of characters and a franchise that gets little national publicity, World Series or not," but that "comes with a potential cost." The "show could prove to be a distraction" as the notion of "what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse goes out the window." Giants President & COO Larry Baer said that there "will be a 'trust factor' with producers that will allow them to shoot compelling insider video without compromising players' privacy or fomenting internal strife." However, Giants P and player rep Matt Cain said that the players "had not signed off on the show yet." Cain: "Honestly, they announced it early. They weren't supposed to do that, and we aren't very happy about it. We're still trying to figure out all the small details." Still, Cain "likes the idea." Cain: "It will be great publicity for the team and the guys on the team. ... It'll be great if it's done right." Schulman noted the show's creators "broached the idea during the winter meetings in December," and last week "several players met with producers in Arizona to discuss the idea" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/15).

MAKING A MISTAKE? In California, Lowell Cohn wrote the Giants are making a "big mistake." They "obviously ... are trying to strengthen their brand so people all over the country and the world will buy their jerseys and caps and they can make a bundle of dough." But the Giants "do not require a reality show to become a national story or any kind of story." Their "most gripping story is on the field, not behind the clubhouse door" (Santa Rosa PRESS DEMOCRAT, 1/16). In Oakland, Cam Inman wrote the Giants are "creating a mass-exposure phenomenon." But while it "might be must-see TV, it won't replace the genuine admiration of what the 2010 Giants produced: baseball's ring-of-flags hardware" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 1/15). In San Jose, Tim Kawakami wrote the Giants are "trying to make themselves into the West Coast version of the Boston Red Sox fan-intensity/marketing phenomenon and they don't care if they look a bit strained and puffed up while they do it." Baer and Giants Managing General Partner Bill Neukom are "trying to build an empire, flat out." It was "kicked off by the 2010 World Series championship and continued by the parade, the videos, the marathon trophy tour and now, the announcement of a reality show to be shown during the 2011 season." Kawakami: "Basically, they want to duplicate the hold the 49ers had on this region 20 years ago, and have lost" (, 1/15).
Return to top

Related Topics:

San Francisco Giants, Showtime, Media, MLB

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug