Showtime Networks Inc., Major League Baseball Productions and the Miami Marlins are teaming up for season two of THE FRANCHISE, the acclaimed sports documentary series that takes audiences into the normally private world of a professional baseball team. Last season, the series gave viewers a front row seat into the lives of the players, coaches and team personnel of the San Francisco Giants as they began the arduous task of defending their World Series title through the 2011 MLB season. This year, the series will follow the new look Miami Marlins.
Under the new leadership of charismatic and always outspoken manager Ozzie Guillen, the Miami Marlins have the baseball world buzzing with the recent acquisitions of All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Carlos Zambrano who will join a group of established young stars including Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson and Mike Stanton. Additionally, the Marlins have launched an extensive re-branding of the club this off-season which has included a name change from Florida to Miami, the construction of a new ballpark and the unveiling of dramatically new uniforms.
"Miami is not only one of the most sexy and cosmopolitan cities in the country, but has become one of the best sports towns as well," said David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. "THE FRANCHISE has worked for us because it appeals to both the hard core sports fan as well as audiences interested in compelling unscripted drama. A newly rebuilt Miami Marlins franchise full of big player personalities, and led by the larger-than-life Ozzie Guillen, are an ideal team for season two of THE FRANCHISE."
"SHOWTIME has proven to be an outstanding partner on this project and our ability to bring fans closer to the game and its players last year made THE FRANCHISE an overwhelming success," said Tim Brosnan, MLB Executive Vice President, Business. "With all of the changes they have made, this is the perfect time to feature the Miami Marlins. The club has no shortage of intriguing storylines and colorful characters that will make for compelling television."
"The Miami Marlins are thrilled to have been selected for this season's taping of THE FRANCHISE," said Marlins President, David Samson. "As we continue to sprint toward Opening Night and our new ballpark, we cannot think of a better way to share this season's excitement - both on and off the field - than with SHOWTIME and MLB Productions. With our recent relocation, re-branding and roster make-over, the time is perfect to have audiences around the country experience new Miami Marlins baseball."
THE FRANCHISE has already begun production and shooting will occur in numerous locations during the off-season, then in Jupiter, Florida for Spring Training and embedded with the team during the regular season. THE FRANCHISE is produced by MLB Productions with the support of the Major League Baseball Players Association and will air exclusively on SHOWTIME. The show's premiere date will be announced later this year. The show will continue to expand on SHOWTIME Sports'® existing line-up of stellar and award-winning programming that includes INSIDE THE NFL, INSIDE NASCAR, FIGHT CAMP 360°, ShoBox: The New Generation, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® and STRIKEFORCE Mixed Martial Arts.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, SHOWTIME 2 HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™ and FLIX ON DEMAND®. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution which includes the SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV.
About MLB Productions
Major League Baseball Productions is the Emmy® award-winning television and video production division of Major League Baseball and the official video archivists of the game. With unparalleled access to the Clubs and their players, Major League Baseball Productions produces original programming for growing audiences worldwide through its network specials, exclusive home videos, commercials and other specialty programming. For more information on Major League Baseball Productions, log on to www.MLBProductions.com.