via press release:
CURRENT TV CONTINUES ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING EXPANSION
WITH ‘4TH AND FOREVER’
NEW DOCU-SERIES CHRONICLES THE “SPORTS SCHOOL OF THE CENTURY” FOOTBALL TEAM AT LONG BEACH POLYTECHNIC HIGH SCHOOL
Compelling Nine-Episode Series Premiering Sunday, April 3, 2011, Provides A Personal Account of Team Members Seeking A Way Out of A Riddled with Poverty, Drugs and Gangs
New York, December 13, 2010 – Current TV today announced the Sunday, April 3rd debut of “4th and Forever,” a new docu-series chronicling the 2010 football season of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, touted by Sports Illustrated as the “Sports School of the Century.” The series documents the trials and tribulations of the promising team helmed by Head Football Coach Raul Lara, whose nearly 20 years of coaching experience at Long Beach Poly has included 100 wins in nine seasons as Poly’s Head Coach entering the 2010 season. Poly’s historic program also boasts the largest roster of high school players who have gone on to the NFL.
Today’s announcement marks Current TV’s continued investment in long-form original programming and comes on the heels of several recent announcements including plans to produce "Bar Karma," the community-developed series conceived by The Sims creator Will Wright.
"4th and Forever," which will air Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m./ET, is comprised of nine 30-minute episodes shot on location in Long Beach, California and throughout Southern California and will explore how the team is a point of pride for a community that struggles with poverty, drugs, and gangs. For Coach Lara, whose full-time job is working the graveyard shift as a Deputy Probation Officer, the football program provides its players a way out; everyone is pushing ahead for that "golden ticket" - a college scholarship and a better life. After decades of success, Poly had a down year in 2009. They had their worst season in 15 years and lost to local rival Lakewood for the first time in over 25 years. The community is frustrated with the current coaches and, after years of being pegged as “the team to beat,” the aura of invincibility is gone. The players are worried that their hopes for a college scholarship have dimmed. The clock is ticking and the question is: Can the team pull it together for one more season of greatness? And, can the players avoid the temptations of the street, succeed in the classroom, and emerge on the field?
“This is a defining and exciting moment for Current TV, but our mission goes far beyond simply expanding and investing in original programming,” said Mark Rosenthal, CEO, Current TV. “In an era of cookie cutter reality series, game shows and recycled programming ideas, Current TV believes there are important stories that have not yet found a voice on television. The Long Beach Poly student athletes showcased in ‘4th and Forever’ are inspiring and their lives, passions and experiences will truly resonate in this documentary series. ‘4th and Forever’ personifies the kind of meaningful entertainment we will be dedicated to providing in 2011.”
Ocean MacAdams, SVP, Programming, Current TV adds: “We immediately recognized Long Beach Poly was a very special place. There are inspirational coaches and student athletes that tug deeply at our hearts and we knew that if we brought their stories to television, people would watch and be positively affected by their experiences. This is ultimately a human interest story. You don’t have to be a sports fan to get pulled into the series."
Long Beach Poly’s alumni list reads like a Who's Who of sports. Graduates include the Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver DeSean Jackson and offensive lineman Winston Justice; the Arizona Cardinal’s linebacker Pago Togafau, Washington Redskin’s safety Omar Stoutmire and the Houston Texan’s linebacker Darnell Bing. The school has also been the home to the San Diego Padres’ Hall of Fame baseball star Tony Gwynn; the Philadelphia Phillies’ Chase Utley; the Seattle Mariners’ Milton Bradley and former professional tennis player Billie Jean King. More recent graduates include Samantha Larson, who at 18, became the youngest non-Nepalese woman to summit Mount Everest. With over 5,000 students, the largely urban school has been the backdrop for such films as “American Pie,” “The Craft” and “American Beauty.” Other notable attendees include actor John Wayne, actress Cameron Diaz and rapper Snoop Dogg.
“4th and Forever” is produced for Current TV by Brian Graden and Lois Curren, Brian Graden Media, LLC; Stephen Land, Jupiter Entertainment, Inc.; Michael Hughes, DLP Entertainment; and Clint Stinchcomb, Global Content Partners, LLC.
ABOUT CURRENT TV:
Current TV is an award-winning media company committed to exploring the world's most important, interesting and entertaining stories. With a fully integrated television and online platform, Current connects its audience with what's going on in their world through its blend of bold and unique original and acquired productions. Founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, Current is available in the U.S., U.K., Italy and Ireland in 74 million households through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107 nationwide); Time Warner (nationwide); DirecTV (Channel 358 nationwide); Dish Network (Channel 196 nationwide); Verizon; AT&T; BSkyB (Channel 183); Virgin Media (Channel 155) and Sky Italia (Channel 130). More information is available at www.current.com.