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Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

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Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Old 06-22-16, 08:10 AM
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Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread



ANY GIVEN WEDNESDAY WITH BILL SIMMONS, a weekly talk show hosted by one of the most influential figures in contemporary sports media, kicks off its 20-show season WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), followed by other new editions subsequent Wednesdays at the same time, exclusively on HBO.

Spanning pop culture and touching on everything from sports and entertainment to arts and technology, the show will feature intimate conversations with compelling guests each week, while also including field segments and Simmons' signature commentary on current events. Guests on the first show include actor Ben Affleck and NBA commentator and hall of famer Charles Barkley.

Read more: Listings - ANY GIVEN WEDNESDAY WITH BILL SIMMONS on HBO | TheFutonCritic.com http://thefutoncritic.com/listings/2...#ixzz4CJFcIp9l
Old 06-22-16, 08:18 AM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I like Simmons, but he gets annoying cause everything he talks about ends in a Boston Sports Analogy. As he thinks that everyone cares about the Patriots, RedSox, Celtics and Bruins who is a sports fan.
Old 06-22-16, 09:28 AM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by coli View Post
I like Simmons, but he gets annoying cause everything he talks about ends in a Boston Sports Analogy. As he thinks that everyone cares about the Patriots, RedSox, Celtics and Bruins who is a sports fan.
I love Simmons even though I hate everything Boston sports scene. But yeah, that's a fair complaint.
Old 06-22-16, 12:08 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I love Bill Simmons when he's talking about NBA stuff. His book of basketball is one of my favorites. His Grantland basketball show and podcast were fantastic. Unfortunately 80% of his current podcast and I'm going to assume his new show is going to be about other sports and I have zero interest in any other sports so I'm going to be skipping it.
Old 06-22-16, 06:47 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

One of my former bosses at NFL Network is the EP of this show.

I don't know. I'm not really a fan of Simmons even when he talked NBA and was on NBA Countdown. I already have plenty on my plate this summer as far as leftovers from last season, new summer shows and Netflix.
Old 06-22-16, 11:45 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Watching a drunk Ben Affleck being interviewed. .. now that's entertainment.

If all the guests are going to get liquored up then I'll be watching.
Old 06-22-16, 11:53 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I like Simmons even though he seems like a grade-A ass. I'd be in for the Celtics talk, but not the rest.
Old 06-23-16, 02:18 AM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by candyrocket786 View Post
Watching a drunk Ben Affleck being interviewed. .. now that's entertainment.

If all the guests are going to get liquored up then I'll be watching.
Yeah, drunk, fat and pissed off about a four game supension. Very weird interview.

The show was kind of scattershot. Maybe slow down a bit or cut some of the commentary. Felt pretty rushed to get everything they shot in during a thirty minute slot.
I expected something a little slicker, more polished
Old 06-23-16, 04:15 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

http://awfulannouncing.com/2016/repo...-episodes.html

Season 1 will be 20 episodes.

Season 2 next year will be 37.

Simmons has a 3 year deal with HBO
Old 06-23-16, 05:05 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

#Drunkfleck

Old 06-23-16, 07:48 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Yeah, drunk, fat and pissed off about a four game supension. Very weird interview.

The show was kind of scattershot. Maybe slow down a bit or cut some of the commentary. Felt pretty rushed to get everything they shot in during a thirty minute slot.
I expected something a little slicker, more polished
Yeah I felt the same way. Just felt off a bit. Hopefully it'll find its groove.
Old 06-24-16, 12:39 AM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

For the poor souls who don't get HBO :



Affleck's Tirade is at 21:15
Old 06-24-16, 08:55 AM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Yeah, this show needs some tuning. Affleck's segment was entertaining - as was Barkley's. I liked the final segment where Bill took a trip down memory lane w/HBO programming from the 80s.
Old 07-14-16, 12:07 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I'm digging this. It's just enough sports talk to keep me interested. I don't watch the "four letter" anymore since they've shed all their interesting talent over the past few years. I'll watch ESPN only if nothing else is on, but mainly for background noise.

In last nights episode (unlike Affleck's ep. 1), it looked like Aaron Rodgers was pretty sober. I'm sure they have a limited drinking policy in place to loosen guests up if they feel a little nervous.

I know they probably film interviews for roughly 45-60 minutes and although they do put extra's on the HBO website I do wish they'd make the website content the entire unedited interview as long as the guest agreed. I think it would be cool to see that version.

Love the show, just wish it was a little longer format.
Old 07-14-16, 12:20 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I watched the second episode and kind of zoned out during the conversation, but I did like his three-minute ramble about Game of Thrones.
Old 08-06-16, 12:07 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Scathing article on the show's struggles from The Sporting News :


Bill Simmons' HBO show is tanking, and the clock is ticking (UPDATE: HBO responds)

By Michael McCarthy

Published on Aug. 4, 2016 | Updated on Aug. 5, 2016


Bill Simmons is getting less, not more, camera time on his own HBO talk show.

As an online journalist, I’m rooting for Simmons to make it on TV, but I’m sad to say his “Any Given Wednesday” could turn into the biggest flop since, well, HBO’s “Joe Buck Live.”

MORE: How former ESPN stars have done since leaving

In the latest bad sign, Simmons delivered his signature opening monologue off-camera on Wednesday’s night’s Episode 6.

Uh-oh. It could be minor. Or it could be major.

But that's usually a sign the talent is uncomfortable on the air, or that the show-runners don't think the person is good on TV.

During the first couple of episodes, a man-spreading Simmons delivered his opening take sitting down in his Bro-Cave studio in Los Angeles. Then he tried standing up for a few episodes.

This week he provide a voiceover. I wouldn't be surprised to see the segment dropped completely over the next couple weeks.

I understand that Simmons and his producers are tinkering with the format, trying new things, but shrinking camera time is rarely a good thing for any budding TV star.

Remember CBS Sports’ failed NFL rules analyst Mike Carey? With Carey struggling on the air, CBS tried switching him to voice-only for some games. That didn’t work, either. The network finally dropped him. Ditto for Rick Reilly and ESPN.

In 2007, ESPN convinced Reilly to leave Sports Illustrated’s back-page column for what the writer modestly admitted was a “ridonkulous” contract rumored to be $3 million per year. With great fanfare, ESPN gave Reilly his own show, “Homecoming,” in 2009.

ESPN executives soon realized Reilly stunk on the air. His appearances on NFL telecasts and golf tournaments dwindled.

Reilly got so desperate that he begged the late, great Stuart Scott to credit him for a tweet about an injury to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Reilly is now in ESPN’s Witness Protection Program.

Simmons can run, but he can’t hide.

He's the executive producer of "Any Given Wednesday." It's his reputation — and his nascent media empire — on the line. If he’s getting less camera time on his own show, people will start to notice.

Simmons’ wooden delivery is one problem, but the opening monologue hasn’t been very funny since Day 1, either.

That’s not Simmons’ fault. He’s a columnist and podcaster, not a stand-up comedian. I’m sure the jokes written by his comedy writers kill — on paper — but he rushes through his points and punch lines. He doesn't have good timing. The whole thing falls flat.

Don’t get me started on Simmons’ attempt at sketch comedy with his Deflategate “trial."

Nobody cares about Deflategate anymore, but Simmons and everybody involved seem to think this was laugh-out-loud, “Saturday Night Live”-worthy stuff.

Please.



Again, Simmons is a columnist, not a TV pro. It’s natural for him to be uncomfortable on the air as he transitions into this new role. But he’s even having issues on what’s supposed to the strength of the show: the guest interview segments.

During his podcasts, Simmons is great at getting guests to open up and share stories they haven’t talked about in other media. That talent hasn’t translated to his TV show.

He has wasted great guests such as Charles Barkley by engaging in "debates" about whether LeBron James is one of the top three NBA players of all time. That's sports talk radio 101 kind of stuff.

Even worse, Simmons is becoming the type of interviewer he rips: fawning, non-confrontational and more likely to kiss a guest’s ass than ask a tough question.

Remember when Simmons mocked ex-ESPN colleagues Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic for their softball interview with Louisville coach Rick Pitino?

Bill Simmons

@BillSimmons

I hope Rick Pitino can recover from that vicious grilling that Mike and Mike gave him today.
8:25 AM - 15 Mar 2016
Bill Simmons

@BillSimmons

"Hey Rick, your program used hookers to recruit teenagers and you're saying you're not accountable - so, um, who's winning the tournament?"
8:29 AM - 15 Mar 2016

Simmons is learning it’s a different story when it’s your show.

He gave Mavericks owner Mark Cuban the equivalent of a back massage by listing all the wonderful things he has done for his players. What a difference, cooed Simmons, from the other “old white guys” owning NBA teams.

“Not to blow smoke up your ass, but I don’t think you get enough credit,” Simmons told Cuban.

Not exactly a “60 Minutes” grilling there.

As The Big Lead noted, Simmons whiffed on asking Chris Bosh about his medical condition and Aaron Rodgers about his brother Jordan’s comments on ABC’s “The Bachelor” that there was a rift between the siblings.

Simmons later noted on his podcast that Bosh requested he not be asked about his medical condition. Simmons agreed, saying it would be “bad TV” to have Bosh mumble a no-comment. Wrong. It would have been good TV.

Isn’t that why Simmons mocked "Mike & Mike"? That they punked out with Pitino?


Look, there’s always a back-and-forth between stars and producers over what questions the stars will and won’t answer. Simmons the TV host should not duck topics Simmons the columnist would tackle for his readers.

If he's not shying away from tough questions, Simmons is indulging his Malibu buddies like Ben Affleck. As one reviewer said, the ranting Affleck came off like the guy in the Tom Brady jersey at the end of the bar who won't give it up.

So much for Simmons being the voice of the fan. If he's is not careful, he's going come off as entitled and self-absorbed as the billionaire owners he has ripped for years.

HBO is paying Simmons an estimated $20 million over three years. So far, ratings have been tiny for “Any Given Wednesday,” according to @SportsTVRatings.

His show is being largely panned by critics.

Brian Lowry of CNN called the premiere "a minor-league product." Time's Daniel D'Addario said it "makes sports and popular culture feel like a slog." Sean Keeley of Awful Announcing said Simmons has to let go of the Boston shtick. Keeley's colleague Jim Weber wrote that the show's problem is that it is just Simmons' "columns and podcasts with video." Ty Duffy of The Big Lead wrote Simmons is simply "not that charismatic on television."

And Evan Grossman of the New York Daily News said the former "rebel" has become an in-house "HBO cheerleader," interviewing other HBO talent such as Danny McBride of "Vice Principals" and Michael K. Williams of "The Night Of." Wrote Grossman:

Simmons was somehow touted as a defiant hero when he was fired from ESPN and scooped up by HBO’s pirate ship of rebels, but through five episodes of “Any Given Wednesday,” the creator of Grantland and the “30 for 30” documentary series has become HBO’s version of Andy Cohen, interviewing stars in a weird cross-promotional lounge for other HBO shows similar to Cohen’s “Housewives” reunions on Bravo. Imagine Simmons, when he was at ESPN, having Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith on his podcast to promote “First Take.” Or assigning a Grantland oral history of “Outside the Lines.” Never in a million years, right? Well, all the money HBO threw at Simmons seems to have changed him, because through five weeks we sure have gotten a lot of native advertising.
The Sports Guy may not realize the bar has been moved.

He is not being critically compared to Stephen A. Smith or Ron Jaworski any more. His new benchmarks are fellow HBO stars John Oliver and Bill Maher. For the kind of money he's making, HBO expects Simmons to eventually deliver the kind of audiences and social media buzz those two do for the network.

Look, Simmons is still hugely popular. And talented. This is the same guy who built Grantland and ESPN's "30 for" 30 documentary series. NFL season is coming up. He has time to right the ship.

But if he thinks he’s going to mail it on TV, then he's in for a big surprise.

If he fails on HBO, that tin can could be hung around his neck for the rest of his career. It could also damage The Ringer and his other enterprises.

Rick Reilly tried to rest on his laurels at ESPN, with corny jokes and rewrites of old SI columns. Look what happened to him.

One other thing to remember: Michael Lombardo, the HBO executive who signed Simmons, is gone. ESPN's former Bad Boy is now on his own. He can't rely on John Skipper or John Walsh to protect him.

Bottom line: Simmons needs to start taking this TV gig seriously.

Wake up, Bill. It’s later than you think.

UPDATE: HBO responded to our Bill Simmons column by stating "Any Given Wednesday" drew 247,000 viewers Wednesday night in its 10 p.m. ET time slot. That was the show's second-largest viewership since 362,000 for Cuban and Malcolm Gladwell in Episode 2, according to an HBO spokesman.

The show is averaging a total of 2.4 million weekly views across all platforms, he said, including TV airings, DVR playbacks and HBO Go. By comparison, Maher averages 4.4 million.

"Bill is an authentic and unique voice. He is building a connection to the HBO subscriber base. We are excited to see the show unfold in the coming weeks and months," stated the spokesman.
Old 08-06-16, 01:38 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I watched the 1st Episode with Charles Barkley, and that was enough for me. Simmons is terrible, and I realized he wasn't doing anything ground-breaking that would make me go back because these athletes get interviewed all the time.

What I don't understand is what HBO executive thought it was a good idea to give Joe Buck and Bill Simmons their own shows? Sadly, these are the people that are running TV.
Old 08-08-16, 11:17 AM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I'm enjoying the show, thought the interview with Caitlyn Jenner was amazing.
Old 08-19-16, 01:53 AM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I'm giving the show a chance. I stream all the extra content at work. I was slightly annoyed when they had the McBride interview (product placement) but since I'm a fan of Vice Principals I was able to look past the fact that HBO probably forced this interview on Bill.

What I couldn't stand was the political dick sucking contest in last nights episode between Bill and guests on how long or if Trump would even make it to the presidential debates. Granted, his guest (Jon Favreau no, not the director) was once Obama's speech writer and had also worked with Simmons at one point? I read the names of the guests earlier in the day and got excited thinking Favreau was going to be the director boy what a let down. I myself can't stand our current crop of politicians so any political speak just makes me want to turn the channel. Simmons needs to have the real John Favreau on to make up for this impostor he had on the other day.

More sports and entertainment Bill, leave the politics for CNN and FOX. And you might wanna wipe that jizz from the corner of you mouth that Favreau left for you, just saying.
Old 11-04-16, 02:15 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Bill Simmons' weekly HBO show ending after a little more than four months on the air.

The pay cable outfit announced Friday, on the eve of wall-to-wall election coverage, that it has canceled his young Any Given Wednesday talk show — though the network will remain in business with the popular sports personality and continue to be minority investor in his Bill Simmons Media Group.

More to come...
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...ebook_20161104
Old 11-04-16, 02:18 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

not surprised. I haven't watched once, and I haven't listened to the BS report since week1. I used to like him a lot.

I guess the homerism just got to me, jealous I guess of the Boston success in recent years. But he never toned it down, or maybe I just got sick of it.

At any rate, maybe ESPN reigning him in over the years was actually a decent thing for him.

oh well.

Will listen to the BS report again at some point but don't know if we will see him on the tube much again.
Old 11-04-16, 02:52 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by mphtrilogy View Post
not surprised. I haven't watched once, and I haven't listened to the BS report since week1. I used to like him a lot.

I guess the homerism just got to me, jealous I guess of the Boston success in recent years. But he never toned it down, or maybe I just got sick of it.

At any rate, maybe ESPN reigning him in over the years was actually a decent thing for him.

oh well.

Will listen to the BS report again at some point but don't know if we will see him on the tube much again.
You are absolutely right. If nothing else, it gave him exposure. But he's a windbag douche bag anyway.
Old 11-04-16, 02:58 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

I watched a few times, but it certainly wasn't must see television, and I frequently forgot it was on which isn't a good sign. In contrast, I never forget to record Bill Maher and John Oliver.
Old 11-04-16, 03:11 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Jesus, according to that story, they're paying Simmons between $7-9M annually. Talk about overpaid!!

They should have used that money to develop some quality scripted shows or documentaries instead of paying this talking head.
Old 11-04-16, 03:54 PM
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Re: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO) -- Series Discussion Thread

Someone was going to sign him for big money when he left ESPN, I was just really surprised it wasn't an outlet banking on his writing skills and ability to scout talent. His on air stuff was always his weakest link.

On a side note, I didn't realize Zach Lowe was on Rachel Nichols' NBA the Jump show every so often.

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