Showtime close to hooking Marlins

Second season of 'Franchise' headed for Miami

Showtime and Major League Baseball are believed to be close to a deal that would make the Miami Marlins the featured team in the second season of docuseries “The Franchise.”

“The Franchise” embeds cameras with its focus team over a period of months to gain on- and off-field insight.

A year ago, the series followed the San Francisco Giants in the wake of their 2010 World Series title and averaged 651,000 viewers over eight episodes.

In contrast, the Marlins (who changed their name from Florida to Miami over the winter) finished in last place in their division in 2011, but they offer other storylines including a new stadium, a personality-filled new manager in Ozzie Guillen, and established and rising stars in Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Mike Stanton.

Carlos Zambrano, who was traded to Miami after a volatile 10 years with the Chicago Cubs, could also get considerable on-camera play.

Last year, Showtime offered a sneak preview of “The Franchise” in April before premiering the series in July.

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