Showtime Working With L.A. Lakers on Basketball Drama; Filmmaker Behind a String of High-Profile Sports Movies Is on Board

Sep 10, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Members of the Los Angeles Lakers organization and the filmmaker behind the basketball feature film "White Men Can’t Jump" are working on a basketball drama for Showtime, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

"Can’t Jump’s" Ron Shelton is set to write, direct and executive produce the one-hour project, which tracks the family behind a pro hoops team.

"The sports-centric filmmaker’s most notable movies include ‘Bull Durham,’ ‘Tin Cup’ and ‘White Men Can’t Jump,’" the report notes. "Serving as EP alongside him on the project are several members of the L.A. Lakers family, including assistant coach Kurt Rambis, retired coach Phil Jackson and team execs Jeanie Buss and Linda Rambis — the latter two doing so under their shingle Street Reason Entertainment."

The focus of the untitled project is on the family behind the scenes of a pro team. "Brett Tomberlin of IDW and Ubiquity Studios will also executive produce, as will Brian Gilbert and Andrew Trapani of Nine/8 Entertainment," THR adds.

The programming lineup at Showtime, which recently renewed the drama series "Ray Donovan," is rapidly evolving. "Masters of Sex" is set to bow this month, with its launch linked to the return of "Homeland."

"With ‘Dexter’ signing off this month after eight seasons and ‘The Borgias’ having come to an end after four seasons, Showtime has drama pilots ‘The Vatican’ with ‘Friday Night Lights’ favorite Kyle Chandler, marriage drama ‘The Affair’ starring ‘Fringe’s’ Joshua Jackson and horror drama series ‘Penny Dreadful’ with Josh Hartnett and Eva Green in the works," the report notes.

The pay-cable channel has already established itself as a player in sports programming, with Showtime Entertainment President David Nevins making it clear that sports is a personal priority, the report notes.

"Showtime recently added ’60 Minutes Sports’ to a roster that already includes ‘Inside the NFL,’ baseball doc series ‘The Franchise,’ ‘All Access,’ ‘Jim Rome on Showtime,’ ‘Showtime Championship Boxing,’ ‘ShoBox: The New Generation’ and ‘ShoMMA.’" the piece reports.

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