FOX Soccer Exclusive
Countdown to "Being: Liverpool"
FOX Soccer’s all-new original series “Being: Liverpool” kicks off Sunday night on FOX (check your local listings.) The six-episode show is a ground-breaking, fly-on-the-wall portrayal of one of England’s most iconic franchises. FOX was given unlimited access to the club, and the series continues through October 21 (live, Sunday’s, FOX Soccer, 9 PM ET/PT).
While inside-the-locker-room documentaries aren’t new to American television — Hard Knocks famously portrayed the lives of several NFL franchises — “Being: Liverpool” is an entirely different animal.
"Our goal was, and is, to go deep inside the lives of today’s greatest sports superstars and at their most critical and intimate moments," said Michael Bloom, Senior VP of FOX Original Production. "Other people and other shows have taken us 'behind the curtain,' but Being: Liverpool is about the people. We aim to show that these stars are human, electric and interesting — but they also have to deal with being on a world-wide stage.
"This is a celebration of them. We pride ourselves on the brilliant visual style and the presentation but most important is how we are taken along for the ride. This is a series that looks forward and there are a lot of heartwarming moments in this show that the normal sports fan has never been able to see before."
“Being: Liverpool” begins with the departure of club talisman Kenny Dalglish from his role as manager. Sunday night, FOX cameras will reveal what happened behind the scenes, how the players reacted — and what came next for a club that has been battered in recent years by a series of sporting trials.
Liverpool is now managed by Brendan Rodgers, a young coach who made his name with Swansea with an elegant, slick passing game that won wide admiration. But he inherited a rebuilding project, and Liverpool’s ownership, Fenway Sports Group – of Red Sox fame – are shown having to make some very difficult decisions about how to get this great club back on the winning track.
SEPT. 16: Episode 1, live, FOX, check your local listings.
SEPT. 23: Episode 2, live, FOX Soccer, 9 p.m. ET/PT
SEPT. 30: Episode 3, live, FOX Soccer, 9 p.m. ET/PT
OCT. 7: Episode 4, live, FOX Soccer, 9 p.m. ET/PT
OCT. 14: Episode 5, live, FOX Soccer, (TBD)
OCT. 21: Episode 6, live, FOX Soccer, 9 p.m. ET/PT
That they have done all this under the gaze of TV cameras is even more remarkable. Soccer clubs are famously reluctant to open their doors to the media. To allow this sort of 24-hour access was truly unprecedented.
"I have to credit Liverpool for their role in this," said Bloom. "They have been very brave and it has been enormously rewarding to be given this responsibility and this access to such an iconic franchise. No one has ever been able to do this. The characters and personalities at the forefront of Being: Liverpool are honest, unguarded and unfiltered. I want to make it very clear: this is not a 'reality show' – this is non-fiction, this is a factual show. All of this stuff really happened.
"What kept coming back to me when I saw this footage was how much these people care about one another,” added Bloom of Liverpool. "They care about each other, they care about the club and they deeply care about the city. It was a wonderful surprise. I understand why they all say they bleed Red, because they do. This is an atomic-level attachment and love to this club, and it goes beyond the concept of family to something far deeper and greater."
What’s next? “Being: Liverpool” won’t end with Liverpool, said Bloom. There is already talk of giving the same examination to other teams and other people in the soccer world. Bloom sees the franchise as a way to give the fans a taste of the DNA of the sport, and a feel for the long and powerful culture that comes along with it.
"We were very privileged and honored that Liverpool allowed us to launch our ‘Being’ franchise with them," said Bloom. The extraordinary access they granted sets the bar incredibly high for all the further ‘Beings’ we hope to do."
Jamie Trecker is the senior editor for FOXSoccer.com covering the UEFA Champions League and the Barclays Premier League.
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