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Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Photo Credit:  HBO
  • Premiered: 
    April 2, 1995
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: HBO
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Newsmagazine
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
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Plot Synopsis

REAL SPORTS is a monthly, one-hour program that presents enterprising features, exclusive interviews and in-depth investigations, as each episode has three or four segments that cover famous sports figures, sports' impact on society, or problems afflicting sports. In January 2012, REAL SPORTS received its second duPont Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, when Columbia University recognized the show for its series of investigative reports on concussions, highlighted by the August 2010 story revealing the scientific link between sports concussions and the onset of ALS. This program entered its 19th season on Tuesday, January 23, 2013, with features about: football player Royce White, who discussed his anxiety disorder; rapper Luther Campbell, who coaches high school football in his native Miami neighborhood; and Pakistani athlete Maria Toor Pakay, who was threatened by Taliban leaders. REAL SPORTS returned for its 20th season on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT on HBO, with the season premiere featuring these segments: marijuana use in the NFL, coming to prominence with a Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, who both hail from states that recently legalized the drug; an interview with former NFL player Boomer Esiason, who discusses his nine-year NFL career and his foundation, which has raised more than $100 million to fight cystic fibrosis; and a profile of Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who talks one on one with correspondent Bernard Goldberg and discusses how he kept the Kings from moving. On Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT, HBO presented the Season 21 premiere of REAL SPORTS. The season opener featured these four segments: Monsters No More; Mr. Sunday Night; The Toast of Beijing; and Urban Renewal. HBO premiered the 22nd season of REAL SPORTS on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT, with a season opener that featured three stories: Questionable Care (with correspondent Jon Frankel), highlighting the day-to-day medical care decision in college football; The Gypsy King (with correspondent David Scott), featuring Wladimir Klitschko, who dominated the heavyweight division for more than a decade -- until Nov. 28, 2015; and Marijuana in the NFL (with correspondent Andrea Kremer), with a followup to REAL SPORTS' initial report in January 2014 about the NFL's prohibition of marijuana, which found some players prefer it to opiate-based painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycodone for pain management. The 23rd season of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL premiered on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on HBO. Segments in the season opener include: "A Football Tragedy," with former University of Alabama fullback Kevin Turner, who after playing eight years in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, developed an addiction to painkillers, suffered from depression and was ultimately diagnosed with the terminal disease ALS in 2010; "Dreams Deferred,", featuring Marshall High on Chicago's West Side, which was one of the main settings of the iconic 1994 sports documentary HOOP DREAMS; and "A Beautiful Mind," featuring John Urschel, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Penn State and is an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT, HBO premiered the 24th season of REAL SPORTS. The season opener, the series' 250th edition, includes the following segments: "Going Broke for Gold," featuring how most US athletes are underfunded and underpaid, unlike those in almost every other country, where Olympic programs deem athletes full-time paid government employees; "California Sons," where a bombastic entrepreneur and father has spent the better part of two decades developing his three sons into world-class athletes in Southern California; and "Legacy of a Court," which features the like of tennis legend Margaret Court, the most decorated tennis player -- male or female -- in history, with 24 Grand Slam Singles titles and 64 total Grand Slam titles, including Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
On Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT, HBO premiered the 25th season of REAL SPORTS. Segments on the show's 262nd edition include:

"Adam Is On" (Producer: Chapman Downes): As the digital age evolved, the world of full-time NFL insiders went into hyperdrive. Today, in the 24-hour, seven-day news cycle, the leader of the pack is ESPN's Adam Schefter, who has established a reputation for reliability in breaking news. Whether on social media, where his Twitter followers number 7.2 million, or one of ESPN's many TV studio shows, he is constantly engaged, delivering new content. Correspondent Jon Frankel goes behind the scenes with Schefter to see how he maintains a breakneck pace and explores their shared bond: Both married and started families with women who lost husbands on 9/11.

"The Changing Face of Football" (Producer: Josh Fine): REAL SPORTS' investigative team files a comprehensive report more than a year in the making, drawing on extensive research, information from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and original reporting. Correspondent Bernard Goldberg considers whether children from affluent homes are fleeing tackle football due to parents' rising concerns about concussions, and whether participation is rising for children who come largely from homes relying on government assistance, asking how that will affect the high school, collegiate and pro ranks in years to come.

"Mountain Man" (Producer: Maggie Burbank): Hugh Herr may not be the first Harvard- and MIT-educated person to be an adventure-seeking rock climber, but he is definitely one of the most determined athletes ever to scale a mountain. The Pennsylvania native barely survived a devastating blizzard in Jan. 1982, suffering severe frostbite that led to the amputation of both legs. Soledad O'Brien connects with the 54-year-old, chronicling his inspiring journey to develop prosthetics that enabled him to resume climbing and design a revolutionary brain-controlled prosthetic for physically impaired climbers.