Soon enough, your cable listings will be populated by nothing but LeBron James produced shows. Well, that and singing competitions.
As we’ve mentioned quite often, James’ production company SpringHill Entertainment has been insanely busy, with shows being made for the likes of HBO, Showtime, and NBC. The most recent development was an NBC comedy pilot based around the life of Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Well, James is at it again with another show that has had a script ordered by the peacock. This one is in partnership with actress Elizabeth Banks and is called Hoops. It’s a drama based on a former WNBA player and coach who becomes the first woman to be a head coach of a men’s college basketball team. There’s also another twist in the plotline as well, ostensibly to create more drama and tension for viewers who don’t care much for sports.
The network has given a script commitment plus penalty to basketball-themed drama Hoops, from writer Jennifer Cecil (Notorious), LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman’s Brownstone Productions, and Warner Bros. Television where both SpringHill and Brownstone are based.
NBC also recently gave a script commitment plus penalty to Brotherly Love, a single-camera comedy from 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, James and his SpringHill Entertainment as well as writer Kourtney Kang.
In Hoops, after years on the road as both a star player and coach in the WNBA, Stevie Decker jumps at the chance to return to her alma mater to become the first female head coach of a men’s college basketball team. But coming home isn’t easy as her career took a toll on her family, and the school she loves is embroiled in a sex scandal involving her mentor, a legendary former coach.
These are clearly two very different shows, but the fact that both have had scripts ordered shows James’ drawing power in the industry, mainly because he’s been able to make progress on so many different fronts. Obviously, he’s not going to be in the director’s chair (or likely even giving significant creative input) for all of these programs, but it certainly pulls back the curtain a bit more on his long-intended move to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. Forget waiting on a career after basketball, James is already well into it.
The most interesting thing concerning LeBron’s push into the entertainment industry is the diversity of content that his company is putting out – dramas, comedies, documentaries, talk shows, and pretty much everything in between.
It’s hard to see NBC actually bringing two basketball-themed shows to the airwaves together, even though one may be a comedy and one may be a drama. In addition, NBC has already made something of a financial commitment to both series, so maybe there’s a chance we see it happen. Even if one of these shows gets to NBC’s primetime lineup, it’d be quite the achievement for James as his media empire continues to expand.