HBO SPORTS(R) AND IMG ANNOUNCE NEW SERIES "GONZAGA: THE MARCH TO MADNESS," DEBUTING FEB. 16, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
Five-Part Series Chronicles 2015-16 Season Of College Basketball Powerhouse
NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2016 - HBO Sports, a trailblazer in sports reality programming, is teaming up with IMG's Original Content unit for an unscripted five-episode series chronicling the men's basketball team of Gonzaga University during its 2015-16 season. GONZAGA: THE MARCH TO MADNESS debuts TUESDAY, FEB. 16 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), with other episodes debuting subsequent Tuesdays at the same time. The finale debuts March 15, the first day of the 2016 NCAA Men's Championship Tournament.
GONZAGA: THE MARCH TO MADNESS joins the team at the start of the season in November 2015, chronicling hard work and high expectations game-by-game in the highly competitive West Coast Conference, with the goal of a berth in the 2016 NCAA Men's Championship Tournament. The series features exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, offering a unique look at the personalities behind the powerhouse program and revealing how a small college nestled in Spokane, Wash. has achieved success against all odds, capturing the hearts of America each March.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs (the Zags) are consistently one of college basketball's leading programs, with last season being their winningest (35-3). In his 17th season at the helm, head coach Mark Few has been instrumental in building and maintaining this incredible success, leading the Zags to 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
The Zags have appeared in 17 consecutive NCAA Tournaments overall, placing them fourth in active streaks behind Kansas, Duke and Michigan State, and tying them for sixth all-time, behind such other major programs as North Carolina and Kentucky. The Zags have also won the West Coast Conference Tournament 13 times since 1999 and are 13-3 this season, with a 5-0 West Coast Conference record.
"We are always looking for fascinating stories that will appeal to our subscribers, and this project will shine a spotlight on one of the most successful basketball programs in America," says Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. "Gonzaga University has built a tremendous program, but so many of its accomplishments and backstories are largely unknown."
"Every March, Gonzaga rallies the global basketball community around them," notes Mark Shapiro, Chief Content Officer, WME | IMG. "The Zags are a team with incredible leadership, dedicated players and a history like no other. Having spent months documenting their journey, we could not be more excited to share this unique, all-access story in partnership with HBO."
"Coaches, players and staff have enjoyed the process so far and look forward to the rest of the season," says Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. "This is a great product that will give our fans a first-class look at our program."
For more than a decade, HBO Sports has been responsible for some of the most compelling unscripted sports programming, with a stylish and contemporary approach keyed by unrestricted access. "Hard Knocks," launched in 2001 in partnership with NFL Films, has won 12 Sports Emmy(R) Awards, and the groundbreaking all-access reality franchise "24/7" has earned 18 Sports Emmy(R) Awards. GONZAGA: THE MARCH TO MADNESS marks the first HBO Sports reality series featuring a collegiate sports program.
The show will also be available on HBO NOW(R), HBO On Demand(R) and HBO GO(R).
GONZAGA: THE MARCH TO MADNESS is executive produced by Rick Bernstein, Will Staeger, Mike Antinoro and Fred Christenson; supervising producer, Bentley Weiner; narrated by Liev Schreiber.
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world's greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is the world's largest independent producer and distributor of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world's leading entertainment agency.
ABOUT HBO SPORTS
Over the past three decades HBO Sports has earned a reputation as one of sports television's most prolific storytellers. From documentaries to unscripted reality programming to world championship boxing to magazine-style studio shows, HBO Sports has been a trailblazer. The department has earned ten prestigious George F. Peabody Awards for production excellence in long-form programming and introduced a host of innovations and enhancements to increase subscriber satisfaction. HBO Sports has earned 123 Sports Emmy(R) Awards since 1991 and has been recognized with three duPont-Columbia University awards for excellence in broadcast journalism.