A new show from Charles Barkley has been ordered by TNT and it’s much different than the sportscaster’s current gigs.
TNT announced at the Television Critics Association press tour Barkley will be hosting a six-episode limited-run series titled The Race Card. Variety reports the hour-long show will feature Barkley discussing “hot-button topics” with guests such as cultural leaders with varying viewpoints and perspectives.
Barkley said the show will examine race, class, and culture.
“We as Americans never discuss the issue of race in this country and how it impacts everything in our lives until something bad happens,” Barkley told Variety. “I see this project as a way to talk about race, class and cultural differences and challenge everyone’s status quo.”
“NBA legend and Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley has had enough. The America that he knew has lost its way, becoming mired in partisan politics, social divides and entrenched corporate interests. Now he hopes to get to the root of the problem in the new limited-run series The Race Card. TNT has ordered six hour-long episodes of the show, with plans to launch in early 2017.
Barkley is no stranger to voicing his opinion, sometimes in a silly, brash manner, but he’s also come across at times more serious and eloquent when speaking on topics such as race relations. Whether the show succeeds or fails, there was probably a good case to give the show concept a season given Barkley has been very active weighing on a broad array of topics on a multitude of various radio, television, and podcast platforms.
Giving Barkley, one of sports media’s biggest personalities, his own platform to discuss issues such as race and class has the potential to give a captivating, genuine perspective – with plenty controversy to go along with it. Given he’s show very little filter and is considered more authentic in some of his more outlier opinions, The Race Card may give viewers a look at issues they wouldn’t have heard about unless they were fans of Barkley.
It’s an interesting side-project for Barkley. He’s known as an entertainer. The hosting gig on The Race Card will give him a platform to discuss issues he’s touched on publicly in a much grander, focused scale. This could be a breakout success for TNT and Barkley but by the same token filling a full talking about serious topics is no easy challenge.
The Race Card will air in 2017.