In the 12-year, eight-season history of HBO’s Hard Knocks, only one franchise – the Dallas Cowboys, often cited as “America’s Team” – has been featured twice. Make that two. The premium network on Monday officially tapped the Cincinnati Bengals to star on its popular series chronicling life at an NFL training camp. The Bengals first were featured in 2009, with the season earning a pair of Sports Emmys. Last year’s Hard Knocks showcased the Miami Dolphins, and plenty of screen time was devoted to aging former All-Pro wide receiver, who was known as Chad Ochocinco when he was onscreen with the ’09 Bengals. The show began in 2001 with then- and current defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, followed by the Cowboys in 2002. But that was the last Hard Knocks until the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007. Since then it has aired every year expect 2011, when the series went dark because no team was willing to participate due to the looming lockout by NFL owners. The first episode of the Bengals return trip to the show will premiere August 6.
NBC led the league at the Sports Emmy Awards, handed out tonight in New York. The Peacock scored 10 wins, including five for its coverage of last year’s London Olympics, and its NFL ratings beast Sunday Night Football won the outstanding live sports series trophy for the fifth consecutive year. HBO was next with six nods, including two for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, bringing the veteran show’s career haul to 25. The nascent NBC Sports Network — which launched early last year with the rebranding of Versus — was third with four wins, followed by ESPN, MLB Network, TBS and TNT with three apiece. NATAS doled out its 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in Manhattan.
A list of winners appears after the jump: