November 21, 2013 6:00am PT by Philiana Ng
USA Network Expands 'NFL Characters Unite' Partnership
USA Network and the NFL are expanding their NFL Characters Unite partnership for the third year.
In addition to the annual one-hour documentary that airs during Super Bowl weekend, the expanded pact includes weekly on-air vignettes and a new web series launching Monday, Dec. 2 that will live on CharactersUnite.com, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The series kicks off with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb.
The initiative will then end with the third NFL Characters Unite doc, narrated by Sunday Night Football's Cris Collinsworth, premiering Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 at 7 p.m. EST/PST on USA.
NFL players featured this year as part of the initiative include Victor Cruz, Mark Herzlich, Nick Mangold, Ray Rice, Charles Tillman, J.J. Watt and Dez Bryant.
Previous docs included profiles on Larry Fitzgerald, Jameel McClain, Troy Polamalu, Justin Tuck, Tony Dungy, Hines Ward, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham.
“By sharing the profound stories of NFL players, we hope to inspire viewers to find the same strength and determination to combat hate and discrimination in their own lives and communities,” said Toby Graff, USA’s senior vp public affairs. “In this effort, we are honored to once again join forces with the NFL and we are grateful for the incredible support from GMC, a company that truly shares the values of Characters Unite.”
NFL Characters Unite is part of USA's Characters Unite public service campaign to fight prejudice and discrimination.
Created by The Company, NFL Characters Unite is executive produced by Charlie Ebersol and produced/directed by Paul Pawlowski.