Fubo Studios has announced its first project, a co-production with SMAC Productions, an eight-part docuseries about “the evolution of the Black quarterback in America.” The project will be led by Michael Vick.
Here’s more from the release.
Through a series of conversations with former and current players and coaches, cultural figures, celebrities and journalists, all led by Michael Vick – a quarterback who changed the way the position was played – the series will examine how on-field commanders changed the game and led off-field movements. It is expected to be an entertaining, insightful and immersive journey through the past, present and future of the world’s most lucrative sport, as told through the experience of Black quarterbacks.
Since the early days of play, from discrimination to celebration, from being marginalized to becoming nationwide heroes, Black quarterbacks have long found themselves as gamechangers both on and off the field, redefining the position and the game while also leading social movements. From Fritz Pollard and Doug Williams to Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Mahomes, these men who play the position have become catalysts and voices for changing currents in society. The series will provide equal parts history, context, and a glimpse into where the game and the country are going.
Vick will guide the documentary series from a first-person POV, through multiple one-on-one conversations with a range of football figures, including Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton, Tony Dungy, Andy Reid and Doug Williams. Vick will also meet with journalists, tastemakers and entertainers who provide a unique perspective to the changing game and evolving culture.
Here are a variety of quotes from Vick and others involved in the project.
“I’m excited to be a part of this project because as a kid, I just wanted to have a shot at playing in the National Football League. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be the first African American quarterback drafted #1. I know that was a big step for us in society,” said Michael Vick. “I was always told that I revolutionized the quarterback position, but I also like to give credit to the ones who I idolized as a kid and who paved the way like Randall Cunningham, Steve McNair and Donovan McNabb. When you look at the evolution of the Black quarterback, it’s because of the people that came before us. And now, I’m thankful for the dual threat concept that has changed the game for the better.”
“At SMAC, we tell stories that go beyond the headlines and dig deep into our culture; this project is no different,” said FredAnthony Smith, vice president of nonscripted, SMAC Entertainment, who will also serve as an executive producer and director of the docuseries. “The story of the evolution of the Black quarterback is the story of how a group of men fought for the chance to play a position, revolutionized the game, and impacted and shaped culture off the field. I couldn’t think of a better guide to take us on this journey than Michael Vick, someone who grew up watching so many of the groundbreakers of the 80s and 90s, and who himself has inspired so many of today’s greatest players.”
“I couldn’t imagine a better first project for the launch of Fubo Studios than this powerful docuseries in partnership with my dear friends at SMAC,” said Pamela Duckworth, head of Fubo Networks and originals, FuboTV. “At Fubo, we are dedicated to featuring the voice of the athlete on and off the field and this series will spotlight iconic voices through a new lens. I’m honored to work with the impressive SMAC team and Mike Vick to bring this important story to life as Fubo Studio’s inaugural production.”
Earlier this year, a very similar project was announced by NBC, with Maria Taylor serving as an executive producer. That series was scheduled to premiere on Peacock during Super Bowl week 2023, though news has been sparse since that initial announcement. I’m curious if that project is just dead and if this is a spiritual successor of sorts, or if this will end up being a completely different series on the same topic.