12:45pm PT by Lacey Rose
Grantland Oscar Preview Includes TV Special on ESPN, ABC (Exclusive)
Grantland is diving into the Oscar pool.
Beginning Wednesday, The Grantland Oscar Preview, hosted by Bill Simmons, Chris Connelly and Wesley Morris, will launch its coverage of the 2015 Oscars here, with expanded content expected to air across ESPN telecasts and digital platforms as well as on the Academy Awards' host network ABC. There will be nine video segments, too, which will be rolled out each day through Feb. 20.
As part of the beefed-up awards season plan, Grantland’s Oscars preview coverage will also be showcased in an hourlong TV special for the first time. The latter is set to premiere Sunday, Feb. 15, at 9 p.m. on ESPN, with plans to re-air on corporate cousin ABC on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. Additionally, a video segment will air on the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on Feb. 20, two days before the Academy Awards ceremony, and audio will be released on two of Simmons' B.S. Report podcasts on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20.
“We approached this like a sports show — we didn’t want to just break down the major categories. That felt lazy to us. We’d much rather argue about whether Bradley Cooper has stolen Leo DiCaprio’s corner as Hollywood’s most bankable actor, or whether Boyhood is a better gimmick than an actual movie," Simmons said with his trademark snark.
He added: "We taped the show for two and a half hours, with the intention of rolling out that content in different forms — not just the TV show, but bonus Internet clips and podcast material, too. We are steadfastly determined to make Grantland the best multimedia site on the Internet, so trotting out an Oscars special on ABC certainly helps that cause.”
In both the TV special and the collection of video segments, Simmons, Connelly and Morris intend to cover a host of relevant Oscar topics, including predictions, favorite performances not nominated and the nominees that have the most at stake career-wise. Over on Grantland, pop culture contributor Mark Harris will once again reveal his Oscar picks ahead of the ABC telecast.