ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
CURRENT TV KICKS OFF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND WITH DEBUT OF "4TH AND FOREVER" ON THURSDAY, MAY 26 AT 9:00PM ET
Compelling Nine-Episode Series Chronicles the Football Team at
Long Beach Poly, Touted As The "Sports School of the Century"
New York- March 9, 2011 - Current TV today announced the hour-long premiere of "4th and Forever," scheduled to debut Thursday, May 26th at 9:00 PM ET. A special sneak peek of the first two episodes will air Monday, May 23 at 10:00 PM ET. The premiere event of the highly-anticipated docu-series will be followed by seven half-hour installments that chronicle the 2010 football season of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, touted by Sports Illustrated as the "Sports School of the Century." Each episode of "4th and Forever" documents the trials and tribulations of the promising team helmed by Head Football Coach Raul Lara, whose nearly 20 years of coaching experience at Long Beach Poly includes 100 wins in nine seasons as Poly's Head Coach.
Poly's historic program also boasts the largest roster of high school players who have gone on to the NFL and an alumni list that reads like a who's who of sports and entertainment. Graduates include Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver DeSean Jackson and offensive lineman Winston Justice; the Arizona Cardinals' linebacker Pago Togafau, Washington Redskins' safety Omar Stoutmire and the Houston Texans' linebacker Darnell Bing. The school has also been the home to the San Diego Padres' Hall of Fame baseball star Tony Gwynn; the Philadelphia Phillies' Chase Utley; the Seattle Mariners' Milton Bradley and former professional tennis player Billie Jean King. More recent graduates include Samantha Larson, who at 18, became the youngest non-Nepalese woman to summit Mount Everest. With over 5,000 students, the largely urban school has been the backdrop for such films as "American Pie," "The Craft" and "American Beauty." Other notable attendees include actor John Wayne, actress Cameron Diaz and rapper Snoop Dogg.
Shot on location in Long Beach, California and throughout Southern California, the series will explore how the team is a point of pride for a community that struggles with poverty, drugs, and gangs and will document the personal relationships the players have with their "families" on and off the field. For Coach Lara, whose full-time job is working the graveyard shift as a Deputy Probation Officer, the football program provides its players a way out; everyone is pushing ahead for that "golden ticket" - a college scholarship and a better life.
After decades of success, Poly had a down year in 2009. They had their worst season in 15 years and lost to local rival Lakewood for the first time in over 25 years. The community is frustrated with the current coaches and, after years of being pegged as "the team to beat," the aura of invincibility is gone. The players are worried that their hopes for a college scholarship have dimmed. The clock is ticking and the question is: Can the team pull it together for one more season of greatness? And, can the players avoid the temptations of the street, succeed in the classroom, and emerge victorious on the field?
"This is a defining and exciting moment for Current TV, but our mission goes far beyond simply expanding and investing in original programming," said Mark Rosenthal, CEO, Current TV. "In an era of cookie cutter reality series, game shows and recycled programming ideas, Current TV believes there are important stories that have not yet found a voice on television. The Long Beach Poly student athletes showcased in '4th and Forever' are inspiring and their lives, passions and experiences will truly resonate in this documentary series. '4th and Forever' personifies the kind of meaningful entertainment we will be dedicated to providing in 2011."
Ocean MacAdams, SVP, Programming, Current TV adds: "We immediately recognized Long Beach Poly was a very special place. There are inspirational coaches and student athletes that tug deeply at our hearts and we knew that if we brought their stories to television, people would watch and be positively affected by their experiences. This is ultimately a human interest story. You don't have to be a sports fan to get pulled into the series."
The series is part of Current TV's continued investment in long-form original programming and comes on the heels of the network's successful launch of "Bar Karma," television's first community-developed series (conceived by The Sims creator Will Wright).
"4th and Forever" is produced for Current TV by Brian Graden and Lois Curren, Brian Graden Media, LLC; Stephen Land, Jupiter Entertainment, Inc.; Michael Hughes, DLP Entertainment; Clint Stinchcomb, Global Content Partners, LLC; and Alex Rader.
ABOUT CURRENT MEDIA
Current Media, the Peabody-and Emmy Award-winning television and online network founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, engages viewers with smart, provocative and timely programming -stories that no one else is telling in ways that no one else is telling them. Current's programming shines a light where others won't dare and boldly explores important subjects -- opening minds, sparking conversations and forming deep connections with its viewers. The channel's audience is comprised of affluent, curious, social and connected adults who crave the kind of entertaining, enlightening, witty and informative programming found on Current's TV and online properties. Current is available in the U.S., the UK, Ireland and Italy in 75 million cable and satellite households and online at www.current.com. Independently-owned Current began with a mission: To harness the power of television and offer adults compelling programming - including real-life stories - created in part by viewers, in their own voices. Current combines the best of TV and social media to create a fully integrated TV and online network. Included among the many initiatives Current has pioneered are: The first online studio that developed viewer-generated content for TV; the world's first crowd-sourced hourly newscast; the first participatory movie reviews; viewer-created ad messages (VCAMs); and the first twitter broadcast live on TV. Current has won major awards and accolades since its founding, including two Emmy� Awards, the Peabody Award, The Livingston Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, multiple Webby Awards, the Television Academy Honor and the Hot Bird � TV Award for Europe's Best News Network.