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Volume 25 No. 7
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MLB Helping Develop TV Series About Babe Ruth As Part Of Push For Younger Viewers

MLB is involved in "developing a limited TV series" about Babe Ruth, and the project is part of an overall push by the league to "get exposure in entertainment genres and platforms that reach younger viewers, who are not watching as much baseball on TV," according to Stephen Battaglio of the L.A. TIMES. The series is "envisioned as an unrestricted, candid look at Ruth’s raucous times off the field, often driven by his prodigious appetite for booze and women." Director-producer Allen Coulter, whose credits include HBO's "The Sopranos" and "Boardwalk Empire," has been "hired by MLB to oversee the project." Presenting a "realistic, flaws-and-all portrait of baseball’s historic icon may seem like a risk" for the league. MLB Senior Dir of Media Programming & Licensing Nick Trotta said, "The goal is to get on as many different screens as possible." Trotta added that MLB is "more open than ever to providing its trademarked logos, ballparks and archival footage to non-sports content that caters to contemporary tastes," such as allowing use of Fenway Park in the recently-released Boston Marathon bombing-related film "Stronger." MLB also "cooperated fully in the recently released Netflix short 'Long Shot,'" which tells the story of wrongly-convicted Juan Catalan. Catalan’s alibi was that he was "attending a game with his daughter at Dodger Stadium," eventually proven by an outtake of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which "filmed on location there the same night." MLB was also "involved in the production" of a documentary film about Pearl Jam’s concerts at Wrigley Field in '16 and last year partnered with AwesomenessTV on a scripted digital series called "Out of My League" that was "set in Dodger Stadium" and included a cameo by Dodgers CF Joc Pederson. Meanwhile, MLB is "creating original content for Mitú, a digital network that targets young Latinos" (LATIMES.com, 10/19).