Bill Simmons is headed to HBO.
It was announced that the former Editor-in-Chief of Grantland would leave ESPN earlier this year after Simmons and ESPN were unable to agree to terms on a new contract. He has not appeared on an ESPN platform since then, and from the moment he left the Worldwide Leader, people have tried to figure out exactly where Simmons would land. According to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, HBO – which was rumored to be a possible landing spot for Simmons – won the Sports Guy’s services in the end.
The Hollywood Reporter expanded on Deitsch’s report with some details on how the marriage came together and what will happen with the partnership. Basically, Simmons will host his own talk show beginning in 2016, and, according to the report, it will be “both topical and spontaneous, with stories and guests across the sports and cultural landscape.” Simmons will also have a hand in other aspects of HBO’s programming.
As part of the multi-year, multi-platform pact, which begins in October, Simmons will also have a production deal to produce content for the network and its digital platforms, delivering video, podcasts and features as he did at ESPN. Additionally, the long-time sports personality will consult for HBO Sports, working closely with HBO Sports president Ken Hershman on non-boxing-related programming, including the development of shows and documentary films for the network.
“We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time. His intelligence, talent and insights are without precedent in the areas he covers. We could not be more thrilled for him to bring those talents to HBO and to become a signature voice at the network, spanning the sports and pop culture landscapes,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said in a statement Wednesday.
This sounds similar to the role Simmons had with ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, for which he was an executive producer. Simmons also released a statement on the decision to join HBO, and it sounds like this is the move he wanted to make ever since he parted ways with ESPN.
“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape. From the moment I started talking to Michael and Richard [Plepler, HBO chairman and CEO], it was hard to imagine being anywhere else.”