The Ringer Partners With Grand Central for Book Publishing Deal (Exclusive)

Austin Hargrave
Bill Simmons (standing)

Books about movies, gambling and 'Jeopardy!' will kick off the deal.

Bill Simmons' voice-driven news, sports and pop-culture media company The Ringer is offering a new platform for its writers and podcast personalities: book publishing.

The Los Angeles-based follow-up to beloved news and commentary site Grantland (which helped popularize the work of writers including Wesley Morris, Rembert Browne, Molly Lambert, Emily Yoshida and more) is partnering with Grand Central Publishing on a series of books from staff writers and contributors, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. 

The first book to emerge from the partnership will be staff writer Shea Serrano's Movies (and Other Things), scheduled for release on Oct. 8. It follows Serrano's Basketball (and Other Things), which was a New York Times best-seller and recommended by former President Barack Obama in his 2017 year-end list. Movies (and Other Things) will offer up both film-related questions and pop-cultural essays, some of which will query why actor Kevin Costner frequently plays a "white savior" or imagine an Academy Awards just for rom-coms.

“Working at The Ringer has been the most creatively fulfilling and auspicious job I have ever had, and I am profoundly proud that Movies (And Other Things) will be the first official book put out under the Ringer Books imprint. Please buy a copy of it or go to hell,“ Serrano said Tuesday in a statement.

Also kicking off the deal in 2020 is a gambling guide from Cousin Sal Iacono, host of The Ringer podcast Against All Odds With Cousin Sal, co-host of FS1's Lock It In and writer and onscreen personality on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Staff writer Claire McNear will also publish a book next year chronicling Jeopardy!, following her recent feature on contestant James Holzhauer, who sustained a 32-game winning streak earlier this year. 

“We believe books are a natural extension of everything we’re doing with the rest of our company,” Simmons said in his own statement. “We gravitate toward quality ideas, unique storytelling and talented voices, and we know from experience that we can use The Ringer’s various resources to raise awareness for any project that matters to us. Once we clicked with the wonderful folks at Grand Central, this became a no-brainer.”

The Ringer, launched in 2016, now boasts over 30 podcasts in its podcast network and a division focused on unscripted programming (which produced 2018's HBO documentary Andre the Giant). Ringer Films will next produce Showbiz Kids, helmed by former child star Alex Winter, for HBO.