Celebrity series renewed by network

Golf Channel is renewing celebrity swing-coaching skein “The Haney Project” for a second season of eight episodes beginning in March.

Series’ initial season, completed Monday, represented the top-rated launch of an original series in the cabler’s history, drawing buzz for popular NBA Hall of Famer and TNT commentator Charles Barkley’s humorous but sincere efforts to improve his infamously ugly golf game under the tutelage of Tiger Woods’ swing coach, Hank Haney.

Golf Channel plans to tie the announcement of its second-season celebrity student to its preview coverage of the U.S. Open, running June 18-21. Selection is still in progress.

“We’re trying to go entertainer,” Golf Channel senior veep of programming, production and operations Tom Stathakes told Daily Variety. “People like Larry David, Ray Romano. … We’ve had a lot of athletes that have asked to do it. Barkley was tremendous — lightning in a bottle — but I think we’re going to try to delve into a different area.”

Combined with “The Golf Fix” and “Big Break,” “Haney” has helped Golf Channel double its Monday-night primetime ratings since the end of February. “Haney” also accounts for 75% of all entertainment video views at GolfChannel.com.

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