Did you know HBO Sports' critically-acclaimed documentaries have been on hiatus since 2012? You probably didn't have any idea and your humble writer certainly did not until Newsday's Neil Best pointed it out last week.
Neil notes that the last HBO Sports film was the Emmy Award-winning "Namath" which was aired early in 2012. (Obviously series like Hard Knocks aren't included under the same umbrella as the series will continue this fall.) Since then, the HBO Sports documentary unit has been working on a series called "Sport in America" which is scheduled to premiere later this year. Up until the Namath doc, HBO Sports was good for three to four documentaries a year.
In addition, the hiatus also timed with the resignation of HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg who formed his own production company and started working with NBC Sports Group and the NHL. Greenburg was responsble for many of the documentaries that HBO has produced including ones on Ted Williams, the Thrilla in Manila, the Chicago Cubs, Duke-North Carolina rivalry, the late Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi and so many others.
The hiatus is expected to end in 2014 when HBO Sports says it will resume production of its films.
ESPN's 30 for 30 unit has seen a major competitor in the sports documentary fall by the wayside from 2012 through now and into 2014. Fox, NBC, and others are entering the game but one wonders if Bill Simmons and the 30 for 30 unit have been doing backflips during this period.