HBO and Bill Simmons have agreed to cancel his TV show, Any Given Wednesday, before the conclusion of its first season, according to a press release the network just sent out.
Any Given Wednesday, the weekly HBO talk show hosted by Bill Simmons, will finish its run on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and will not return to the network next season.
The decision was mutually agreed upon by HBO and Simmons, who joined the network in July of 2015. In the past year, Simmons has created the Bill Simmons Media Group, which is responsible for a wide range of linear and digital initiatives including the debut of The Ringer website, developing new content and assets, and re-launching the leading podcast franchise in the sports industry.
Bill Simmons: “One of the many reasons I joined HBO was to see if we could create a show built around smart conversations for sports fans and pop culture junkies. We loved making that show, but unfortunately it never resonated with audiences like we hoped. And that’s on me. But I love being a part of HBO’s family and look forward to innovating with them on other ambitious programming ideas over these next several years - both for the network and for digital. With that said, I want to thank the dedicated staff that worked so diligently with me behind the scenes to make this show every week - we hired so many great and talented people and I loved having them in my life. It’s difficult for me to imagine not working with them anymore.”
“HBO is committed to Bill Simmons, and we are excited to bring his unique vision to bear on an array of new programming initiatives under the HBO Sports banner in 2017,” said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “Bill is an award-winning executive producer in the documentary arena, and we will work closely with him in developing new and engaging content for our subscribers.”
HBO signed Simmons to a reported $20 million, three-year deal in July 2015, and Any Given Wednesday was slated for a 20 episode season. But ratings for the show have bordered on anemic, and it hasn’t managed to deliver either insightful interviews or viral clips, save for Ben Affleck’s insane Ballghazi rant in the first episode. The show will have lasted for just 17 episodes, which in fairness is 14 episodes longer than Joe Buck Live lasted on HBO.