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 several reasons.
“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 .