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“Bull Durham” creator putting together a baseball TV series

Oct 25, 2010, 4:32 PM EST

First and Ten

Lazy observation: baseball, a sport that is best experienced in the form of multiple installments over the course of long period of time (i.e. a 162 game season) has never been portrayed in a good TV series. At the same time, it has had multiple excellent treatments on the silver screen. Football, in contrast, a sport in which one game means everything, has had hardly any good movies done about it, yet had one pretty darn enjoyable TV series in “First and Ten.”* I suppose we can argue about all of that, but that’s my feeling about it. And please don’t tell me that “First and Ten” doesn’t hold up. I choose to remember it being nothing short of awesome.

Anyway, they’re trying again with a baseball TV series. Given the pedigree of the creator, it may just work:

Ron Shelton, the creator of “Bull Durham,” will be putting together a new hour-long comedy based on minor league baseball called “Hound Dogs” for TBS. Shelton will executive produce the project alongside Michele Weisler, Andra Buchanan and Todd DeLorenzo . . . Drawing from Shelton’s own experience as a player, the show centers on a minor league team and its general manager as they try to handle life’s ups and downs, both in and out of the locker room.

And since it’s on TBS, you know darn well it’s gonna get promoted up the wazoo during next season’s playoffs.

*I am immediately reminded by people that “Friday Night Lights” is an excellent TV series as well. I have never watched it — I don’t watch a ton of TV, really — but people I trust say it’s fantastic so I have no reason to doubt it.  I’m also reminded by people that “Eastbound and Down” is a most excellent baseball series.  I haven’t seen most of it either — being remedied soon thanks to NetFlix! — but why that escaped me I have no idea.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Will it be called “Major League 4: Still in the Minors”??

    Two good (great?) football movie examples: “Wildcats” (maybe best movie ever, actually) and “Any Given Sunday” (James Woods, LL, Foxx, Pacino, Miss Pagneechee…pure gold).

    [still holding straight face]

  2. bloodysock - Oct 25, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Um, ‘Coach’ ran for several seasons.

  3. Old Gator - Oct 25, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Craig…doesn’t The Bronx is Burning count? Pretty damned fine series, as I recall. The guy who played Reggie looked more like Reggie than Reggie did. Turturro was a great Billy Martin. And you don’t diss Oliver Platt. Really.

  4. schmedley69 - Oct 25, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    The best sports-related TV show of all time was “Learning the Ropes,” starring the late Lyle Alzado. By day, Lyle was a school teacher, and by night, he was a masked professional wrestler. Lyle taught us life’s lessons, both in and out of the ring. Each week there was a special guest wrestler from the NWA. My favorite episode was the one where Ivan Kolof guest starred.

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