Showtime has ordered a three-part documentary series on the changing role of athletes in the current political environment that boasts LeBron James among its executive producers.
Showtime president and CEO David Nevins made the announcement at the TCA summer press tour on Monday.
The series is titled “Shut Up and Dribble,” taken from conservative pundit Laura Ingraham’s remarks to James in February when players from the Golden State Warriors declined an invitation to the White House after the 2018 NBA Finals. The controversy serves as a prologue to the series as it chronicles the modern history of the NBA and its players, starting with the 1976 merger of the freewheeling ABA and the more conventional NBA of today.
The league soon became an incubator for many of its top athletes to grow their brands beyond the court, becoming powerful players in commerce and fashion, and transcending the game to become cultural icons. It will premiere on Showtime in October.
“Shut Up and Dribble” is a presentation of Showtime Sports Documentary Films and James’ SpringHill Entertainment. James will executive produce along with Springhill’s Maverick Carter and Rich Paul, Martin Desmond Roe, Chris Uetwiller, Datari Turner, and Gotham Chopra, who will also direct.
“If being a star athlete is inherently a political experience, ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ tells that complex and dramatic story from the past to the present and from the inside out,” said Nevins. “LeBron James is one of many competitors whose place in the spotlight has led not to silence but perspective, and he, Maverick Carter and Gotham Chopra have given us an important, insightful docuseries that should bring their fans and fellow citizens to a higher level of discourse, rather than the dismissal satirized in the title.”
Showtime has also ordered a new four-part documentary series from Alex Gibney. “Enemies: The President, Justice & The FBI” will provide an in-depth look into the long history of conflict between American presidents and the FBI. It will debut Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. ET
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