Onetime ESPN lightning rod Bill Simmons, who got the boot from the sports channel about a year ago after building a reputation for controversy, has resurfaced with a new show on HBO.
In an announcement from HBO for “Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons,” the veteran sports media personality says: “I’m excited about the show, I’m excited about the title and I’m really, really excited to drop my first F-bomb on TV.”
The pop culture and sports talk show launches Wednesday, June 22, with a 20-episode order for its first season.
Simmons, whose 14-year tenure at ESPN included overseeing the popular Grantland website, had a difficult relationship with the network, marked by a series of confrontations focusing on censorship and creative freedom. HBO signed him back in July 2015, a few weeks after ESPN announced that it would not be renewing his contract.
Said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming: “Bill Simmons represents a unique and distinct voice with a proven track record of challenging the norm and igniting debate and discussion on a wide range of topics. We are excited about the concept Bill and his team have developed for this show, which takes advantage of Bill’s intelligence, talent and insights.”