HBO premieres the sports docuseries Level Playing Field Sept. 14. A venture between HBO Sports and Vox Media Studios, Level Playing Field looks at the business end of sports and how it impacts matters of race and politics. There are four 30-minute episodes.
Level Playing Field “examines how multi-billion-dollar industries in and out of sports have historically underpaid their most valuable assets, politicized community-based initiatives, and stifled the voices of athletes of color,” said HBO.
WNBA player Elizabeth Williams, senators Cory Booker and Raphael Warnock, Rep. Joaquin Castro and sports journalist Jemele Hill appear in the series, which “looks at the far-reaching twin impacts of legislation and activism as they intersect with sports,” according to the network.
The first episode, “Midnight Basketball,” examines the intersection of sports, race and social policy, and the Maryland program by that same name designed to offer at-risk youths a haven and help curb rising crime rates. Started in 1986, the program proved to be controversial.
Directors are Akil Gibbons, Joe Posner, Sam Ellis and Rebecca Stern. The series is executive produced by Mike Jacobs, Joe Posner, Emily Anderson, Chad Mumm and Mark Olsen.
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.
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