HBO Dipping Toes Back In Sports Comedy Pool?

There’s a reason popular art is cyclical. Everyone from the mightiest pharaoh to the lowliest peasant runs out of ideas; even the beginning of this sentence is stolen. When in dire straights, executives take old ideas, put a shiny new twist on it, and trot them out as fresh products. So it’s no surprise that HBO, in desperate need of a hit, is once again considering dipping into the well that is “sports comedy”, whatever weird niche that is.


(Their last shot.)

BC BEAT is reporting that Ross Greenburg, the president of HBO SPORTS, has made it clear he plans on pursuing a new original “sports comedy show” for the network. But that’s not all, kids. He’s also looking to somehow get the Internets to give him feedback!


Greenburg says that the network will probably feed some of its comedy material online, and depending on the response could turn it into a series.

Past examples show that navigating the cross-promotional terrain between actual network television and the Internets is a sticky prospect, so who knows if this will work. The big thing HBO should be worried about is that by the time they get this new thing up-and-running, the market may already be over-saturated with this strange “sports comedy” concept.

Sports Soup airs twice a week, to the joy of the 10 people in the world who get VERSUS, and it’s only a matter of time before ESPN’s Mayne Street gets expanded to a half-hour show for the WWL. So are people even going to care when this next one hits?

Also unclear is if, when Greenburg was talking about “sports comedy”, if he was actually talking about this interesting show called East Bound and Down that is already test screening:

A six-episode HBO comedy from the “Foot Fist Way” team of writer-director Jody Hill, screenwriter Ben Best and writer-actor Danny McBride, “East Bound And Down” follows a superstar major-league pitcher who finds himself reduced to serving a substitute gym coach.

If that’s the case, you can put all reservations aside. Anything by the guys who did Foot Fist Way get a free pass.