Jets, HBO Hyped For 'Hard Knocks' Premiere
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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Rex Ryan’s unpredictable mouth, Mark Sanchez’s matinee idol looks and LaDainian Tomlinson’s quest for a Super Bowl ring. The Jets will be on full display, premiering tonight at 10pm, on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”.
Must-see TV? Ross Greenburg certainly thinks so. And, that’s just for starters.
The president of HBO Sports is convinced the New York Jets will be a huge hit on “Hard Knocks”, and not just because he has rooted for them since he was a kid.
Greenburg joined Boomer & Carton on Wednesday morning to talk about the big premiere.
“America will be stunned at the candor and the honesty,” Greenburg said of Jets head coach, Rex Ryan. “There’s no one like him in the NFL.”
The Jets have been busy this offseason making juicy headlines since finishing a win from a surprising Super Bowl appearance. They’ve signed some big-name players — Tomlinson and Jason Taylor — and traded for some others — Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie — while unloading a few popular veterans such as Thomas Jones, Alan Faneca and Leon Washington.
The biggest headline coming out of Jets camp in Cortland? The Darrelle Revis contract situation. Revis’ contentious stand off took another twist on Tuesday with a war of words between Jets owner Woody Johnson and Darrelle’s agent, Neil Schwartz.
This season’s installment of the popular HBO series, produced in conjunction with NFL Films, premieres on Aug. 11. The five-episode series will follow every move the Jets make during training camp in Cortland, N.Y., and will run every Wednesday night until the finale on Sept. 8.
Last year’s “Hard Knocks” featured the Cincinnati Bengals, and averaged 3.4 million viewers an episode, earning HBO’s highest ratings for the series. Greenburg wanted the Jets a year ago, but the team had some reservations with a rookie head coach and quarterback. As New York made its postseason push, Greenburg aggressively went after owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
The Jets agreed to do it in January, and announced the plans in March with an elaborate press conference, complete with cheerleaders.
Sharp-tongued special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff will also be “in the supporting actor category.” Sanchez will surely get plenty of face time, as will the opinionated Bart Scott and Kris Jenkins.
But, Greenburg insists it won’t be limited to well-known players. As “Hard Knocks” has done in the past, players trying to make the team — Danny Woodhead — and position battles — Vladimir Ducasse vs. Matt Slauson at left guard — will all be featured.
NFL Films has 75 people assigned to “Hard Knocks,” with 25 living at training camp, and 50 at the production studios in Mount Laurel, N.J. There are 10-13 cameras that will shoot up to 1,000 hours of footage.
“I guarantee you there’s not another television show with this amount shot that’s turned around this quickly in the business,” Greenburg said. “Not anywhere on television.”
The footage is relayed by satellite to NFL Films in Mount Laurel, N.J., and edited. After the hour-long show is assembled, the music score is added. Actor Liev Schreiber does the voiceover on the morning the show airs — he once did it from an audio booth on a film location in Scotland — in about 90 minutes. A final mix is performed and a technical check, and it’s on the air a few hours later.