The irascible, knowledgeable sportswriter and content maker Bill Simmons has teamed up with HBO. It seems like a perfect match for both. Simmons is known as an artist among hacks (hacks in a good way!) with a unique style and perspective. Simmons is famously not afraid to take his sweet time making his points, to sprinkle — or even saturate — a sports piece with pop culture references, and to call out his bosses when they’re cowing to the almighty dollar.
HBO has carefully honed a reputation as a place where artists are given artistic freedom. And also a place — importantly — where that artistic freedom has paid off. HBO has brought to life many of the era’s cultural touchstones, from The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Girls to John Oliver and Game of Thrones, and has established itself as the model wannabe competitors like Amazon strive to emulate. HBO programming prez Michael Lombardo said of the Simmons hire: “We could not be more thrilled for him to bring those talents to HBO and to become a signature voice at the network, spanning the sports and pop culture landscapes.”