via press release:
HBO SPORTS® AND THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE® JOIN FORCES FOR
24/7 RED WINGS®/MAPLE LEAFS®: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC,
A FOUR-EPISODE ALL-ACCESS SERIES
DEBUTING SATURDAY, DEC. 14 ON HBO
NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2013 – HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured 17 Sports Emmy® Awards, will again join forces with the National Hockey League for 24/7 RED WINGS/MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC, it was announced today by Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports and John Collins, chief operating officer for the NHL. Taking viewers inside a historic NHL matchup, between Original Six™ rivals Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, this innovative four-episode, all-access reality series debuts SATURDAY, DEC. 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
The show follows the two clubs simultaneously, chronicling their highs and lows each week. The excitement surrounding the rivalry reaches its apex when the teams meet in the sixth edition of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at the University of Michigan football stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the stage will be set for more than 100,000 fans to attend the outdoor event.
Noted Bernstein, “Taking our ‘24/7’ reality series into the world of the National Hockey League has been a riveting experience that our subscribers have thoroughly enjoyed. The ‘24/7’ franchise is fashioned on larger-than-life personalities, engaging storylines and unrestricted access. The cooperation provided by the teams, coaches and players is the special ingredient that has made this program a landmark series.”
Said Collins, “HBO’s ‘24/7’ has been a game-changer for us. The wide-open access our clubs provide on and off the ice gives a real sense of what it takes to play in the NHL and just how special our players are. Our fans love it, and there’s no question that new fans have been attracted by watching the games and the personalities come alive through the lens of HBO’s storytelling. Red Wings-Maple Leafs will provide no shortage of great stories, and having Sportsnet as our first partner in Canada will make this year’s edition bigger than ever.”
“The Players are excited to be a part of an HBO ‘24/7’ because it will provide a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at the path they take to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic,” said Mike Quellet, NHLPA Chief of Business Affairs. “The Winter Classic has become a staple on the NHL calendar and ‘24/7’ showcases some of the greatest athletes in the world to sports fans everywhere through the reach of HBO and Sportsnet. We are pleased and proud to once again be a part of this innovative series.”
For the first time, all four episodes of the HBO Sports HD presentation debut in prime time, on consecutive Saturday nights. Episodes two and three debut on subsequent Saturdays, Dec. 21 and 28, at the same time. The series finale debuts Saturday, Jan. 4, three days after the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, with cameras tracking all the drama of game day. All episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.
24/7 RED WINGS/MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC is the third edition of HBO Sports’ breakthrough NHL reality venture. As with the previous two acclaimed editions, the series will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews with coaches, players and front-office personnel, as the two Atlantic Division rivals battle through their December schedules, and meet in the first NHL game ever at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Both teams are coming off Stanley Cup® Playoff appearances last season, the 22nd consecutive time that Detroit qualified for the post-season.
24/7 RED WINGS/ MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC will air in Canada exclusively on Sportsnet, which is available in 8.5 million unique households across the country.
In Jan. 2011 The St. Petersburg Times noted, “This easily goes down as the best portrait ever shown about hockey,” and in Jan. 2012, ProHockeyTalk.com wrote, “The final hour captured the most compelling threads with HBO’s artful mix of great music and stunning cinematography, leaving us all wanting more – just like the 2011 edition.” The Washington Post said that “this show has it all,” while the Los Angeles Times observed, “This is great theater and you don’t have to know icing from offside to appreciate it.” The New York Times noted in Jan. 2012 that the show is “shot superbly, written elegantly and narrated unobtrusively by Liev Schreiber.”
With 17 Sports Emmys®, “24/7” is the most-honored sports series of the past six years. At the 2012 Sports Emmy® Awards, the series received the Dick Schaap Writing Award for “24/7 Flyers/Rangers,” the third Sports Emmy® for the “24/7” NHL franchise. Launched in 2007, the earliest editions of “24/7” were devoted to boxing.
The executive producer of 24/7 RED WINGS/MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC is Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Dave Harmon; coordinating producer, Bentley Weiner; producer, Thomas Odelfelt; writer, Aaron Cohen; narrator, Liev Schreiber.