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CBS News is producing a monthly sports-themed version of 60 Minutes for Showtime that will debut in November.
60 Minutes of Sports will feature the newsmagazine’s correspondents including Steve Kroft and Lara Logan as well as contributions from CBS News and CBS Sports correspondents such as chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian (who joined CBS as a sports reporter) and James Brown, host of Showtime’s Inside the NFL and CBS’ The NFL Today.
The show will be produced out of the 60 Minutes studios on Manhattan’s West 57th Street, will be without commercials and is likely to have at least one in-studio interview. The show’s brand will be unmistakably 60 Minutes, complete with the flagship newsmagazine’s ticking stopwatch.
“We have a lot of experience in original reporting about sports stories,” CBS News chairman and 60 executive producer Jeff Fager told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s part of what we do. We love to do it, and it’s a wide-open area that we feel we can be very good at.”
Each hourlong installment will include two original stories and one updated 60 Minutes sports segment. Fager did not rule out an update of last year’s Lance Armstrong exposé featuring Armstrong’s former teammate Tyler Hamilton’s assertions of doping. And he pointed to Logan’s piece from October about mountain climber Alex Hannold, who scaled Yosemite without ropes or harnesses, as an example of the type of story viewers can expect on 60 Minutes of Sports.
The program, still without a time slot, will join a growing roster of original sports programming on the premium cable network including the MLB series The Franchise, Inside NASCAR and All Access.
Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins has made original sports programming a priority at the network. The Franchise just wrapped its second season — this time featuring the Miami Marlins. And coming this fall is a weekly series with sports radio personality Jim Rome, who already has a nightly program on CBS Sports Network.
Fager and 60 Minutes executive editor Bill Owens will executive produce 60 Minutes of Sports.
CBS Sports creative director Pete Radovich Jr. first floated the idea last spring, said Fager. Radovich is a longtime CBS Sports producer who has worked on NFL games and Showtime’s Inside the NFL. He directed the Showtime documentary Game of Honor, about the annual Army-Navy football game. And in 2010, he produced his first 60 Minutes piece — Football Island, about the disproportionate number of college and pro football players coming from the tiny nation of Samoa.
Asked if the Showtime edition of 60 Minutes could expand to more frequent airings, Fager noted that one installment a month is “ambitious” at the moment.
“They’re very time-consuming,” he said. “The reporting that goes into these is in-depth, it takes a long time. And we want to make it a high-quality hour that really lives up to the expectations that people have of 60 Minutes.”
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