Rachel Nichols Developing ‘Headliners’ Interview Series for Showtime/Paramount, Contributing to CBS Sports HQ NBA Coverage (EXCLUSIVE)

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12:  Actor Rachel Nichols attends The 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
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Veteran sports journalist Rachel Nichols will work as a contributor to CBS Sports HQ’s overall NBA coverage. Nichols will find other venues on CBS to share her insights and analysis.  CBS Sports HQ is a streaming sports channel operated by the CBS Sports and Paramount.

That assignment is only one item on a busy dance card for Nichols. She is also developing two news series for Showtime and Paramount platforms — all of the entertainment brands share a corporate parent in Paramount Global. One of the projects in development, called “Headliners,” is an interview series that will highlight some of the most influential figures in sports and entertainment.

Nichols will also play a role in Showtime’s podcast programming, which is led by Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s “All the Smoke” series. This week, Nichols will begin hosting the podcast series “What’s Burnin’.” The first show drops on Wednesday and will feature Barnes and Paul Pierce, former NBA Champion and NBA Finals MVP. Barnes is also an NBA Champion, having won a ring with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. The podcast will be very much “off the news,” focusing on recent games and events.

“It’s been really fun to be part of the creative process of developing new programming,” Nichols told Variety. “All of the people here have been so open to ideas and willing to take chances.”

Showtime recruited Nichols in 2022 to create, host and produce new sports content across multiple platforms.

“The strategy is to put this content in a bunch of different places, so you can find it,” says Nichols. “So you want to hit linear TV, but also YouTube and streaming and other platforms, so people who want to watch it can see it the way they want to.”

Nichols created and hosted the daily NBA program “The Jump” on ESPN and has been covering sports for more than 25 years, including multiple Super Bowls, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, Olympic Games and tennis and golf majors. Her departure from ESPN in 2021 was stormy.

Prior to re-joining the cable network in 2016, Nichols worked at The Washington Post’s sports section covering the NHL, NBA, MLB, tennis and the Olympics. She also worked at Turner Sports from 2013 to 2016 where she hosted “Unguarded with Rachel Nichols” on CNN, covered the NBA on TNT, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on CBS and TBS, the MLB playoffs on TBS, the NFL and boxing. Nichols’ first stint at ESPN began in 2004, where she covered the NFL and the NBA.

Update: 12:30 am PT