Discovery Orders NFL Special From 'Hard Knocks' Producers
Discovery Channel is jumping on the NFL bandwagon as the cable network scores a behind-the-scenes look at two regular season games set to play abroad this fall.
NFL In Season, a two-part special, will document the match-ups between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars -- both of which are being played in London for the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium.
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A NFL Films Production, the studio behind HBO's Hard Knocks, the special aims to “showcase the unique storylines leading up to the NFL International Series,” says NFL Films producer Ross Ketover.
This year marks the first time two regular-season games will be played in the UK as part of the NFL International Series. The Vikings will host the Steelers on Sunday, September 29. The Jaguars will then host the 49ers on Sunday, October 27. The corresponding specials will air on a week delay, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1, respectively.
Discovery plans to capture moments before, during and after the game. From the teams traveling to England to the coaches drafting game plans to the players being tourists in London, viewers can expect to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the teams tackle the rigors of the season on foreign soil.
Ketover adds: "As the NFL takes this historic step in our international development with two games in London, we are excited to give fans back in the U.S. a behind-the-scenes look at these games.”
Executive Producers for NFL Films include Howard Katz, Pat Kelleher and Ross Ketover. Executive Producers for Discovery Channel are Christo Doyle and Matthew Kelly.
As ratings for NFL continue to grow in the U.S., so have the unscripted tie-ins. Hard Knocks, featuring the Cincinnati Bengals this year, is in its eighth season at HBO. Showtime also has the less-narrative Inside the NFL.