HBO will return for a seventh season of its NFL training camp series Hard Knocks on August 7 featuring the Miami Dolphins, a year after the network scrapped the Emmy-winning documentary series because of the NFL lockout. ESPN reported that the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets were also mentioned as possible teams to be profiled; in 2010, the Jets’ season on the show earned HBO three Sports Emmys. Five hourlong episodes are planned for the show, co-produced with NFL Films. It’s a logical move for the Dolphins, whose ownership group is trying to drum up fan interest in a mediocre team. Owner Stephen Ross has brought in celebrities like Gloria Estefan and Venus and Serena Williams as minority owners, and the team has a red-carpet entrance to the team’s Sun Life Stadium for celebrities attending games.
UPDATE, MONDAY AM: A lot of great news for Liev Schreiber this morning. His deal with Showtime to star in the drama pilot Ray Donovan formally closed, and the network just made the official announcement. And, in what appears to be a change of heart, HBO Sports has renewed its overall deal with the actor to continue to be the voice of virtually all HBO documentaries as well as the 24/7 reality series, and the NFL reality series Hard Knocks. During the lengthy negotiations, HBO had considered not to re-up the overall with Schreiber and open up the field to other narrators, but in the end it extended Schreiber. I hear that the actor’s Showtime series contract allows for that.
PREVIOUS, SUNDAY PM: With a deal to star in Showtime’s pilot Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber may one day become the face of the pay cable network. But at the same time, it looks like he will no longer be the exclusive voice of the sports division of rival HBO. I’ve learned that HBO is planning not to renew its overall deal with the actor to be the the voice of HBO Sports, which has included narrating virtually all HBO sports documentaries, the 24/7 reality series, and the NFL reality series Hard Knocks. HBO is not severing ties with Schreiber, who has been voicing HBO Sports’ programs for the past 16 years. “Liev is set to start work next week on his next HBO Sports project, 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, HBO Sports said in a statement, declining further comment. I hear that Schreiber also is scheduled to do another HBO Sports project in January.