HBO has canceled the Bill Simmons talker Any Given Wednesday. The weekly program debuted in June; the Nov. 9 episode will be the last. The decision was mutually agreed upon by HBO and Simmons, according to the network.
Simmons joined HBO in July 2015 following a long run at ESPN.
“HBO is committed to Bill Simmons, and we are excited to bring his unique vision to bear on an array of new programming initiatives under the HBO Sports banner in 2017,” said Peter Nelson, executive VP at HBO Sports. “Bill is an award-winning executive producer in the documentary arena, and we will work closely with him in developing new and engaging content for our subscribers.”
While Simmons was toiling to find his voice as a show host, the cancellation comes as a surprise, given the effort HBO made to land the tastemaking sports personality.
“One of the many reasons I joined HBO was to see if we could create a show built around smart conversations for sports fans and pop culture junkies. We loved making that show, but unfortunately it never resonated with audiences like we hoped. And that's on me,” said Simmons. “But I love being a part of HBO's family and look forward to innovating with them on other ambitious programming ideas over these next several years-both for the network and for digital.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.