“Any Given Wednesday” bowed June 22. Simmons acknowledged that the show didn’t connect with enough viewers over its nearly five-month run to merit a renewal.
“One of the many reasons I joined HBO was to see if we could create a show built around smart conversations for sports fans and pop culture junkies. We loved making that show, but unfortunately it never resonated with audiences like we hoped. And that’s on me,” Simmons said. “But I love being a part of HBO’s family and look forward to innovating with them on other ambitious programming ideas over these next several years – both for the network and for digital. With that said, I want to thank the dedicated staff that worked so diligently with me behind the scenes to make this show every week – we hired so many great and talented people and I loved having them in my life. It’s difficult for me to imagine not working with them anymore.”
Simmons signed on with HBO in July 2015, following his public split with ESPN, where he made his name as a sports and pop culture commentator. In the past year Bill Simmons Media Group has launched the Ringer website and a podcast network in addition to the HBO series.
HBO’s deal with Simmons came as the premium cabler has sought to broaden the range of original unscripted programming that it serves up throughout the week. Although “Any Given Wednesday” didn’t take root, Simmons’ shop will continue to have a presence on HBO. The initial deal that HBO set with Simmons was billed as a “multiplatform” partnerships that extended beyond the talk show.
“HBO is committed to Bill Simmons, and we are excited to bring his unique vision to bear on an array of new programming initiatives under the HBO Sports banner in 2017,” said Peter Nelson, exec VP of HBO Sports. “Bill is an award-winning executive producer in the documentary arena, and we will work closely with him in developing new and engaging content for our subscribers.”