LeBron James is wasting no time building his media empire in Los Angeles. After getting a comedy movie picked up by Paramount Players earlier this month, the new Los Angeles Lakers star has another project on the way with HBO.
On Thursday, HBO released a trailer for the network’s brand new barbershop-set talk show titled “The Shop,” produced in association with SpringHill Entertainment, the media company founded by James and his longtime friend and business parter Maverick Carter. The series, which will air exclusively on HBO, is set to debut on August 28.
“I still regret giving my 14-year-old my name.” - @KingJames— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) July 26, 2018
This and more real, unfiltered conversation with @OBJ_3, @mavcarter, and more in UNINTERRUPTED’s unscripted series THE SHOP.
First episode dropping 8/28, exclusively on @HBO. pic.twitter.com/zIoxEgBnJn
According to The Hollywood Reporter, who were first to the story, the debut episode was shot last week in L.A. at West Hollywood’s Barber Surgeons Guild. The episode will star the aforementioned James and Carter as well as Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants, Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans state and comedian Jon Stewart, formerly of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
Following the announcement, James took to Twitter to celebrate his show getting picked up.
“THE SHOP” https://t.co/gyFECnW2KV— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 26, 2018
I am so proud of this project. Athletes and artists get to have a real, uninterrupted discussion the way we always do. Politics, race, culture, music fashion...all of it. #IAmMoreThanAnAthlete https://t.co/TcpwJ38ANW— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 26, 2018
“The Shop” is just the latest attempt from HBO to beef up their sports programming. Along with this series, HBO has also ordered a pair of other projects from James and SpringHill Entertainment including a docuseries about Muhammad Ali and a documentary titled “Student Athlete,” which will explore the heated debate on whether or not NCAA athletes should get paid for their contributions to the school.
HBO might have some serious ground to make up with their sports programming, but with heavy hitters like James and Bill Simmons, who just signed a new deal with HBO to produce sports-focused content, it looks like they’re headed in the right direction.
Meanwhile, James has continued to make the most of his new home and the resources that come with it. While there’s no doubt James will be laser-focused on basketball when the season tips off in October, it’s becoming more clear every day that his decision to sign with the Lakers wasn’t solely a basketball decision.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.