LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - BET is getting in the
sports talk-show business with a new series hosted by former
NBA player John Salley, former NFL player Hugh Douglas and
comedian Guy Torry.
The network is debuting its first sports talk show, an
hour-long series titled "Ballers," at 10 p.m. on April 20. The
weekly show features the hosts talking sports in a nightclub
environment. Topics will range from serious issues to silly
plays. The show will have a female presence with DJ Rashida's
"girl's booth" as well as Claudia Jordan (NBC's "Deal or No
Deal") serving as correspondent.
In fact, "Ballers" is designed to appeal to sports and
nonsports fans as well as men and women.
"This really has a much broader appeal than most shows in
this category," said Reginald Hudlin, BET's president of
entertainment. "The interaction between these three
personalities is unbelievable, and the format is very loose and
fun. The nightclub setting really changes the vibe."
The show will tape at Platinum Live in Studio City.
Director Tony McCuin said the nightclub setting was chosen for
"I had worked a few Super Bowls for FSN, and one thing I
noticed was how comfortable these guys were in a nightclub
atmosphere," he said. "Many times I had an opportunity to be
involved in conversations taking place at nightclubs, and I
thought, 'Why aren't we rolling the cameras on this?' It also
gives fans the opportunity to 'hang' with the athlete instead
of just watch them play."
As is typical with BET series, "Ballers" has been given an
initial six-episode order, but Hudlin was optimistic the show
would connect with audiences and become a hit .