BREAKING: The clock has run out on Bill Simmons’ weekly HBO talk show. The premium channel has canceled Any Given Wednesday after just four months. The series, which will wrap its run next week, was part of a major exclusive multi-year, multiplatform deal HBO made with Simmons in June 2015, after ESPN opted not to renew his contract.
HBO, which became Simmons’ exclusive TV home as part of last year’s deal, says it remains “committed” to him.
“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, EVP of 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.”
At ESPN, Simmons was a columnist, podcaster, an EP on co-creator of the series 30 for 30 — which won a Critics’ Choice Documentary Award this week — and editor in chief of its now-shuttered sports/culture website Grantland. He was suspended from the Worldwide Leader in 2014 over comments Simmons made on his podcast The BS Report about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell related to the Ray Rice domestic violence case.
Said Simmons, in typically verbose fashion: “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. 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. With that said, I want to thank the dedicated staff that worked so diligently with me behind the scenes to make this show every week – we hired so many great and talented people and I loved having them in my life. It’s difficult for me to imagine not working with them anymore.”