Two Veteran New York Media Personalities Bring New Series To TV

Next Wednesday, smack in the middle of the NBA Finals and right before Father’s Day, the EPIX premium movie channel will debut a new talk show involving two longtime New York media personalities. “Personal with Bill Rhoden” will be hosted by the veteran New York Times columnist and is produced by former HBO and MSG Entertainment honcho Seth Abraham. The show will debut on June 11 at 8 p.m. with the first guests being the father/son duo of Grant and Calvin Hill.

Recorded last month in Atlanta, the episode will touch on many of the current topics in American sports, from the Donald Sterling situation to race relations and the changing views and acceptance of the LGBT community to the on-going issues professional athletes and men of color face in society today.

In the discussion, Grant talks frankly about his dealing with Sterling and the challenges of being a professional athlete today, while Calvin gives his unique perspective on the same issues from the vantage point of both a parent and a legendary star in the NFL. Rhoden conducts the up close and intimate interview.

“We are very excited to have these two iconic personalities as our first guests on ‘Personal with Bill Rhoden,’” said Mark Greenberg EPIX CEO in a press release. “Our goal with all our documentaries is to discuss the issues of today, and we could not have a more timely presentation. It will be a memorable half-hour presented only as a journalist like Bill Rhoden can do.”

“Personal with Bill Rhoden” is a give and take between two generations of elite athletes, as each plays off Rhoden’s questions on the world we live in today and where athletes and race factor into bigger discussions in society. Calvin Hill touches on the issues he faced in the segregated south and how he has had to adjust some of his views as the world has evolved with a new-found social acceptance of people from diverse backgrounds, while Grant Hill expounds upon the use of social media as a tool for athletes to have a voice today, his reaction to the goings-on around the LA Clippers (which he is purportedly involved with one of the bidding groups), and the new-found consciousness of the American athlete in the world today, among other topics.

“I have wanted to create an interview program like this for 30 years and we could not have found a better way to start the series than with Grant and Calvin,” said Abraham. “Bill Rhoden’s style brought out the best in them, and we think he has set a new standard for the interview with his work on this inaugural show.”

A second half-hour show with Oscar deLa Hoya will also air this summer on EPIX, which gained critical acclaim for “SCHOOLED: The Price of College Sports,” last fall. The channel will also air a documentary on David Ortiz in July.

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