ESPN must really want to keep Bill Simmons because it’s allowing him to stretch his muscles into movies. And while Simmons’ Grantland site does discuss more than just sports, ESPN will give the former Boston Sports Guy his own Oscar Awards preview special that will air not only on the Mothership but also on ABC.
The Grantland Oscar Preview with Simmons, noted entertainment reporter Chris Connolly and Wesley Morris won’t handicap the Academy Awards but as the polarizing one tells the Hollywood Reporter as only he can:
“We approached this like a sports show — we didn’t want to just break down the major categories. That felt lazy to us. We’d much rather argue about whether Bradley Cooper has stolen Leo DiCaprio’s corner as Hollywood’s most bankable actor, or whether Boyhood is a better gimmick than an actual movie,” Simmons said with his trademark snark.
He added: “We taped the show for two and a half hours, with the intention of rolling out that content in different forms — not just the TV show, but bonus Internet clips and podcast material, too. We are steadfastly determined to make Grantland the best multimedia site on the Internet, so trotting out an Oscars special on ABC certainly helps that cause.”
The Grantland Oscar Preview has already launched on the web and the TV special will air on ESPN on Sunday, February 15 at 9 p.m. ET, the week before on the Oscars telecast on ABC. And it will get a showing on ABC on Saturday, February 21 at 1 p.m. ET. In addition, there will be a segment on SportsCenter two days before the Oscars and as mentioned above, podcasts of the broadcast will be available as well.
If that floats your boat, there are plenty of opportunities to catch the preview special, but if it doesn’t, you can certainly ignore the whole shebang and also avoid the numerous fake Walking Dead spoilers that float around the internet.