We have entered a new era of television: The basketball era. Yes, it is time for yet another basketball show. And, more specifically, another show about an NBA owner because, apparently, HBO’s Winning Time is not enough.
In April, FX picked up the limited series The Sterling Affairs from writer Gina Welch, based on ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast. Variety reported that “the six-episode series tells the behind the scenes story of Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers’ quest to bring a championship to one of the historically worst franchises in all of sports during the impending downfall of the team’s owner, Donald Sterling, whose notoriously racist behavior is brought to light amid the power struggle between his wife of 60+ years, Shelly Sterling and his mistress, V. Stiviano.”
While Laurence Fishburne had already been cast as Doc Rivers and Jackie Weaver as Shelly Sterling, the series finally has its lead. Married… With Children and Modern Family star Ed O’Neill will star as the titular Sterling, Variety reports. O’Neill’s role as Donald Sterling is his first television role since Modern Family ended its eleven-season run in 2020.
“Gina Welch has done a tremendous job of adapting this story for FX, showing the historic resolve and grace of Doc Rivers and the Clippers players during this shocking event,” said Nick Grad, president of original programming for FX when the series was announced. “Building on Ramona Shelburne’s groundbreaking reporting, Gina, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson delve even deeper into this pivotal moment in modern sports.”