Starz’s Television Critics Association panel for its first half-hour comedy, “Survivor’s Remorse,” had to answer for their missing executive producer, LeBron James, on Friday.
At the top of the session, the first question from press was, “So, LeBron couldn’t make it?”
The basketball player was an early inspiration on the project. Now based in Boston, the show was once set in James’ own Cleveland.
“There are a lot of earlier drafts that no one has seen,” writer and executive producer Mike O’Malley said.
“Survivor’s Remorse” tells the story of a young man named Cam Calloway (Jessie T. Usher), who’s challenged with honoring those who helped him reach success as his basketball career goes into overdrive.
With about half of the panel completed, the producers were once again faced with explaining James’ absence.
“What exactly is LeBron doing today?” a reporter asked.
On the spot and amid laughter, executive producer Maverick Carter said, “He may be in the H.R. office filling out his paperwork for his new job, getting a physical…”
That’s likely true. It was announced earlier on Friday that the four-time MVP left the Miami Heat to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers. But, Carter made it clear that his absence during the panel was no indication of James’ work ethic or how he feels toward the series.
“LeBron is very, very busy with his job and the playoffs and going through all the free agency things,” he said. “He’s obviously a big supporter of the show, a big supporter of Mike’s. He loves the show and obviously he has his reasons, he’s not here.”
He continued, “He is getting a new job, literally. I was being a little sarcastic, but the truth is he got a new job today and he’s celebrating with his family. And when you get a new job at the NBA, instead of going through H.R. like a normal job, you do have to go through a physical.”
“Survivor’s Remorse” airs in the fall.