via press release:
SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™ GREENLIGHTS SPORTS DETECTIVES,
INVESTIGATING THE STORIES BEHIND ICONIC OBJECTS IN SPORTS HISTORY
New Series Scheduled To Air In 2016
New York, July 14, 2015 – Muhammad Ali’s Olympic gold medal. The basketball from Wilt Chamberlain’s famous 100-point game. The American flag draped over goalie Jim Craig after the “Miracle on Ice.” All precious artifacts from legendary moments in sports – and all are either missing or in dispute. Enter SPORTS DETECTIVES (working title), a new Smithsonian Channel docu-series currently in production that looks to uncover the true stories behind some of the most iconic objects in sports history and the moments that defined them. SPORTS DETECTIVES, comprised of six one-hour episodes, is scheduled to premiere in 2016. The announcement was made today by David Royle, Executive Vice President of Programming and Production, Smithsonian Channel.
The series crisscrosses the United States in search of lost or unverified sports relics shrouded in decades-old mystery. Their stories are told through first-hand accounts from the players, managers, announcers, and fans who witnessed history unfold. With state-of-the-art technology, sports analysis, and real-life detective work, SPORTS DETECTIVES plunges into the moments that made these objects so coveted, piecing together the evidence for what happened and why. How could the ball from Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in the 1988 World Series have gone missing? What’s the real story behind the Kentucky Derby Museum’s War Admiral trophy, which some say is not original? Where is the football from Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris’s “Immaculate Reception?” And of the three basketballs purported to have gone through the hoop on Chamberlain’s historic 100th point, which has the best claim?
The series enlists the investigative skills of Kevin Barrows, a former FBI special agent and security consultant with the National Hockey League, and Lauren Gardner, a reporter and on-air host with CBS Sports Network. Together, they seek not only to find and confirm the lost objects, but also to uncover new insights about these events that have transcended their sports.
SPORTS DETECTIVES builds on a formula established by Executive Producer Brian Biegel in his best-selling book and award-winning documentary, Miracle Ball, which tracked down the 1951 home run ball from Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World.”
“Smithsonian Channel has revealed extraordinary stories behind historic artifacts, from the Hope Diamond to Thomas Jefferson’s secret Bible,” said Royle. “Now we’re turning our eye to the world of sports. The objects investigated in SPORTS DETECTIVES are fascinating for fans and non-fans alike, and we expect many surprises along the way.”
SPORTS DETECTIVES is being produced by Left/Right for Smithsonian Channel. Executive Producers for Left/Right are Banks Tarver, and Ken Druckerman and John Marks. Brian Biegel and Robert Harris are also executive producers. David Royle and Charles Poe are executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.
Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are series including Aerial America, Million Dollar American Princesses, Boomtowners, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Civil War 360, 9/11: The Heartland Tapes; MLK: The Assassination Tapes and The Day Kennedy Died. Find out more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.