Found August 02, 2012 on Awful Announcing:

Back in May one of our ten sports media questions for this upcoming football season was "Will Peter Berg's Mike Leach documentary series become a reality?"

It was certainly something I was hoping to see come to fruition. But with no real updates from Berg's camp or Washington State, I had all but given up on the chance of the show being produced. Unfortunately, yesterday confirmation came in that proposed series is not happening, most likely due to a lack of interest from the likes of HBO and Showtime. From The Spokesmen Review:

"Leach said he hasn’t heard anything about a potential documentary on HBO about the WSU football team. A camera crew led by director Peter Berg was in Pullman shortly after Leach's hire, he said, but there's been no update since."

Berg had previously said back in January, "I assume HBO will go for it because it will be really good... I don't know why they wouldn't."

This was coming off the heels of a Berg produced series On Freddy Roach that was solid and made me appreciative of all the work Berg had done in the sports genre. At the time he was touting the Leach series and beating the drums for a Friday Night Lights movie.

Just like Berg's stated fascination with Leach whose demise at Texas Tech is reported to be part of the script to the proposed movie, I've found myself fascinated with Berg's career, particular within sports.

Although his sports projects have drawn critical acclaim, commercial success has been an issue. Likely adding to the lack of network interest in the Leach series was the fact that Berg's Battleship was seen as one of the biggest flops of the year, so much so that Comcast's quarterly numbers specifically blame it for down numbers.

in many ways, Berg reminds me of a seasoned Silicon Valley entrepreneur looking to make big things happen. If you read the Grantland oral history on Friday Night Lights, a lot of the focus on that article really centers on Berg's ability to usher that show into production and cut deals to keep the show going when it faced cancellation almost every step of the way. 

Helped by the success of the first FNL movie as well as the success of Hancock, Berg was able usher the series to 5 complete seasons as well as attract partners for a 30 for 30 and the Freddy Roach series.

Yet\\\\\\\\, Battleship and lackluster ratings for FNL and the Roach series seems to have stalled Berg's ability to sell his projects to networks and studios. 

Going back to my Silicon Valley analogy, there is a saying that "you have to create your own heat." Basically you create your own momentum and buzz and hopefully it snowballs into real interest, opportunities, partnerships, and deals.

Quotes like ""I assume HBO will go for it because it will be really good...... I don't know why they wouldn't",  "We're not done with Friday Night Lights", and "We're doing the movie", all of which are examples of Berg trying to create his own heat. 

On both the Leach series and the FNL movie, I'd imagine that interest was lukewarm and hence Berg went to the press bringing his typical bravado fishing for a Hollywood suit to bite. It seems as if nobody bit on the Leach series, which is unfortunate as I would have really enjoyed that. It was my thought that if the usual suspects of HBO and Showtime didn't want to get involved that potentially NBC Sports Network or new Pac 12 television partners in FX and the Pac 12 Network might roll the dice.  I'd also imagine that the limited size of WSU's fanbase, regardless of their College Gameday flag waving zeal, also hurt his chances.

With the Leach series officially not happening, hopefully Berg can get the stars to line up to get a FNL movie produced. I'm skeptical in wake of Battleship and the fact that shows like The Wire and The Sopranos among others never found themselves onto the big screen despite continued rumors of such a possibility. Hopefully in the meantime he'll stay away from making 9 figure movies based off of board game,s although you can certainly take my $10.50 if Hungry Hungry Hippos make makes it to theaters

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

On eve of fall camp, Leach sets stage for '12

WITH THE START of fall camp less than 24 hours away for Washington State, one thing stands out to Mike Leach. Lack of depth. The head man also touched base on a variety of other topics, including the offseason dismissals that have affected the Cougars’ depth.

Cards working to extend Washington

FLAGSTAFF -- The Cardinals want to keep inside linebacker Daryl Washington around for a while. Thats why general manager Rod Graves said Wednesday the team is working toward a contract extension for the third-year player from Texas Christian. Hes a core player, Graves said. We havent sat down to talk contact, but we anticipate doing that soon. Hes under consideration like several...

SPECIAL TEAMS: WSU Fall Camp Preview

PULLMAN – Mike Leach in his WSU first fall camp is expected to place major importance on the special teams units. An underwhelming third phase of the Wazzu’s game in recent years, the Cougars appear ready to turn a corner in 2012, both literally and figuratively.

Breaking down Adrian Wilson's $14.5 million contract extension

Hot News for S Adrian Wilson

Cardinals defenders show swagger in training camp

(Eds: With AP Photos.) By BOB BAUM AP Sports Writer The Arizona Cardinals' defense is well aware of its status as the anointed strength of the franchise. The players have a bit of swagger to them this training camp, a confidence still mixed with the reality that they have done nothing yet, that all the success of the second half of last year means little if it can't be repeated...

Washington State opens camp on Thursday

New Washington State coach Mike Leach wants to take his team back to junior high as fall camp opens on Thursday. Leach says he plans to emphasize blocking and tackling in the first week of practice as the Cougars seek to improve on a 4-8 season that ended with coach Paul Wulff being fired. Leach says blocking and tackling are the same things that a good junior high would have emphasized...

WSU Friday Roundup - Back to Work Style

Happy Friday Cougs.  Here's hoping you and yours are ready for an enjoyable weekend around the northwest, as it's supposed to be extremely nice the next few days!  Yours truly has been off the grid for the last week, out of town for work down in Florida (Fort Lauderdale, to be exact).  It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but probably not nearly as glamorous as it...

Channing Tatum Visited Arizona Cardinals Practice, Let’s Bring Back Marvel’s ‘What If…’

The most C-Tates picture that has ever been taken.Actor Channing Tatum has undoubtedly reached A-list status this year, what with all 3 of his films grossing more than $100 million and him hanging out with George Clooney, so he can pretty much do whatever he wants at this point. At least that’s what I assumed was the reasoning for him showing up at Arizona Cardinals practice yesterday...

Around the League: Cardinals look to lock up young talent

Third-year linebacker Daryl Washington, whose importance to the team was recently cited by general manager Rod Graves, isn't the only Arizona player under consideration for a contract extension. The Cardinals have quietly begun extension talks with fourth-year veteran return man and special teams ace LaRod Stephens-Howling, and could make the former seventh-round pick one...

WIDE RECEIVER: WSU Fall Camp Preview

PULLMAN -- Armed with a bona fide All-America candidate and a bevy of potential game-breaking wide receivers, Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense would seem to fit perfectly with WSU’s 2012 roster. The Cougars are going to rack up yards through the air this season. Here’s CF.C’s wide receiver breakdown headed into fall camp.

Seen & Heard at Cougs' Fall Camp

PULLMAN – Mike Leach quickly established himself as a stern disciplinarian at Washington State by kicking four players, including three starters, off the team in the off-season. And Leach has definitely caught the attention of the remaining players. Plus, Travis Long and Xavier Cooper talk about what's new, John Fullington and Cooper are aiming high, Connor Halliday can move again and more.
Cardinals News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.