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Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel Returns August 21st

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 08/16/2012

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel Returns August 21stREAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL



Now in its 18th season, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL presents more enterprising features and reporting when its 185th edition, available in HDTV, debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 21 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: Aug. 21 (2:10 a.m.), 24 (9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.), 25 (11:30 a.m.), 27 (7:00 p.m., 2:05 a.m.) and 30 (3:30 p.m., 12:45 a.m.), and Sept. 2 (7:30 a.m.) and 11 (8:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Aug. 22 (9:00 a.m., midnight), 28 (4:45 p.m.) and 31 (12:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m.), and Sept. 1 (3:00 p.m.), 5 (6:30 p.m., 1:15 a.m.) and 9 (6:00 a.m.)

HBO On Demand availability: Aug. 27-Sept. 17. The show will also be available on HBO GO.

Segments include:

            *Jon Gruden. When Jon Gruden hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, he was the youngest NFL head coach ever to accomplish the feat. Fired in 2009, he became a color analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” As REAL SPORTS host Bryant Gumbel discovers, his passion for the game hasn’t waned. Gruden, who turns 49 Aug. 17, arrives at the headquarters of his Fired Football Coaches Association every day at 4:00 a.m. and obsessively watches hours of game and practice film. His dedication to his new profession has paid off with a recent five-year extension and a broadcasting portfolio that includes the series “Jon Gruden’s QB Camp.” In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustratedcollaboration, Gumbel travels to Tampa and tries to keep up with the high-energy, fast-rising broadcaster.

Producer: Maggie Burbank.

            *Steve Gleason. On Sept. 25, 2006, after playing an entire season away due to damages from Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Saints returned to the refurbished Superdome. On the fourth play of the game, special teamer Steve Gleason blocked a punt, resulting in a touchdown. That moment, which seemed to signal a new day for the long-struggling Saints and their city, has been commemorated with a recently unveiled statute of Gleason outside the stadium.

Three years after retiring in 2008, Gleason revealed he was battling ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; now confined to a wheelchair, the 35-year-old suspects that head injuries sustained while playing football are to blame. Subsequently partnering with a filmmaker to document his experiences with the illness, Gleason found himself in the middle of a Scandal when the production captured the infamous sound bites of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams instructing his players to inflict serious injury on the opposition. Steve Gleason goes one-on-one with REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel with the first public comment from anyone who was in the locker room that day in San Francisco.

Producer: Chapman Downes.


            *Heart of a Champion. PGA golfer Erik Compton is the only known pro athlete to undergo two heart transplants and return to competition. The 32-year-old Floridian was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy at age nine and underwent his first heart transplant at age 12, but a massive heart attack caused his second heart to fail in 2007. The former University of Georgia standout underwent another transplant surgery in 2008 and, remarkably, returned to compete in pro golf events five months later. After participating in PGA Tour events for years as a non-member, Compton won Nationwide’s Mexico Open in June 2011 and fulfilled a longtime goal of securing a PGA Tour card for 2012. REAL SPORTS correspondent Frank Deford reconnects with this inspiring and determined competitor during his first season on the PGA Tour, and learns about the numerous health scares he’s endured along the way.

Producers: Jake Rosenwasser, Chapman Downes.


REAL SPORTS has won the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports Journalism 15 times and has received 23 Sports Emmy® Awards overall. It is the only sports program ever honored with the duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, having first been recognized in 2005. In January, REAL SPORTS received its second duPont Award, for a series of investigative reports on concussions, highlighted by the Aug. 2010 story revealing the scientific link between sports concussions and the onset of ALS. In April, the show received the Emmy® in the category of Outstanding Sports Journalism for Bernard Goldberg’s 2011 report on the college bowl game money trail.

The executive producer of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL is Rick Bernstein; Joe Perskie is senior producer.


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