NFL Films and HBO Sports announced Thursday that they have reached agreement on a long-term extension of the "Hard Knocks" franchise. The first-ever sports reality series is set to return to HBO next month with a new, five-episode edition featuring the Cincinnati Bengals.
When "Hard Knocks" debuted in the summer of 2001, it was television's first sports reality series. In the ensuing decade, the series became the most-acclaimed sports reality franchise on television, earning national recognition for its innovative production techniques, unscripted drama and unmatched storytelling.
"We are thrilled to have HBO continue as the home of 'Hard Knocks,' the preeminent sports reality series," said Ken Hershman, President of HBO Sports. "The partnership between HBO and NFL Films continually produces unrivaled and groundbreaking television programming."
"We are excited to continue teaming with HBO on 'Hard Knocks' to bring our fans closer to the game in unrivaled ways," said Howard Katz, COO of NFL Films and NFL Senior Vice President of Broadcasting.
The most recent edition, last summer's "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins" (pictured above) received the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Post-Produced Audio/Sound. The "Hard Knocks" franchise has won eight Sports Emmy Awards since its debut.
The Bengals join the Dallas Cowboys as NFL teams to have made two appearances on "Hard Knocks." The Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets have also done the show.
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