“Hard Knocks” has drafted its next team.
The series, produced by HBO Sports and NFL Films, is teaming up with the Cleveland Browns for a five-episode season focused on the AFC North franchise. The 13th edition of the Sports Emmy Award-winning reality series will debut this summer on HBO.
The Browns are coming off yet another losing season after finishing 0-16 last year, a feat the once again earned them the number one draft pick with which they took former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield last month.
According to HBO’s description,”Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Cleveland Browns” will chronicle head coach Hue Jackson entering his third season leading the team and an intriguing mix of young emerging stars, established veterans, free agent additions and highly-regarded rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason.
A 30-person NFL Films crew will begin production in the next few weeks, heading to Browns training camp at team headquarters in Berea, Ohio, to shoot more than 2,000 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will have unencumbered access to players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.
This edition will be narrated by Liev Schreiber and mark the actor’s 12th season voicing the NFL weekly training camp series.
Each week, viewers will get an inside look at the team that competes in the AFC North, as players experience the daily rigors of an NFL training camp. Cameras will document hours of conditioning practices and meetings, while chronicling players as they compete for a roster spot and bond off the field.
“‘Hard Knocks’ returns with 91 football players determined to fulfill their NFL dreams, yet only 53 will succeed,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “The standard set by this landmark program is for fans to witness the truth as it unfolds: no staging, no second takes, no varnish. We are grateful to the Browns organization for allowing us to spend the summer with the team in what promises to be an intriguing training camp experience.”
“The storylines in Cleveland are compelling, which make the Browns an ideal partner on Hard Knocks,” says NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover. “We’re looking forward to showing NFL fans around the world what the Haslams, John Dorsey, Hue Jackson and the coaching staff are doing to rebuild the team and reboot one of the most iconic franchises in sports.”
“NFL Films has always been exceptional at bringing fans closer to the game and they do an outstanding job with every show they produce, including HBO’s Hard Knocks,” added Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam. “We have been asked multiple times about being featured on ‘Hard Knocks,’ and we really felt like it was our turn this year and the timing was right. We want to be great partners in this league, and we also recognize ‘Hard Knocks’ gives fans a special opportunity to learn more about our team and players. Organizationally, we are confident about where we are headed, but we have a lot of work to do in order for this franchise to earn the respect of our fans on the field.”
“I’ve been a part of ‘Hard Knocks’ and when you experience it first hand, you come to appreciate the inside look it really gives fans,” said head coach Hue Jackson. “We are excited about what we are building within our organization and feel good about the progress we have made this offseason. Being able to bring our fans in so they can get to know our players and our organization in a different way will be a huge positive for us. I want people to see how much our players and coaches care, how hard they work and how badly they want to win for Cleveland. This will be a great opportunity for our team.”
“Like many, I was reluctant about being the featured team on ‘Hard Knocks’ but once we sat down and talked about it as an organization, I feel a lot better and understand why the time is right,” said general manager John Dorsey. “Hue and I both feel like this team is in a good place and that we are in the process of building something that will lead to success. Being a part of Hard Knocks will give our fans the opportunity to see how passionate the people in our building are about winning and how excited we are about getting to work and preparing for the 2018 season.”
Prior teams to be featured on the HBO football reality show include the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and the Los Angeles Rams.
“Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Cleveland Browns” will premiere Aug. 7 at 10/9 c on HBO.