It's like Bill Simmons is trolling his former employer, ESPN, at the worst possible time.
In the same week that had the Worldwide Leader in Sports losing Mike Tirico and Skip Bayless, Simmons' new HBO show has announced its name and launch date. On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons will premiere on June 22, as the first of 20 episodes in its initial season. Each show will be 30 minutes long and air Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET.
In true Simmons fashion, he can't wait to launch the show and deliver the one thing that the Disney-owned ESPN barred him from doing — cursing.
"I'm excited about the show, I'm excited about the title and I'm really, really excited to drop my first f-bomb on TV," Simmons said in a statement, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter. "We are going to figure out nudity down the road, as long as it's tasteful."
The new show will be hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan, who both followed Simmons shortly after ESPN fired him last May.
"Bill Simmons represents a unique and distinct voice with a proven track record of challenging the norm and igniting debate and discussion on a wide range of topics," HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told the Hollywood Reporter. "We are excited about the concept Bill and his team have developed for this show, which takes advantage of Bill's intelligence, talent and insights."
The show is poised to cover everything sports and pop culture, sort of like what Simmons' Grantland did in the written form with complementing video at times. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Any Given Wednesday's creative team boasts Stuart Miller from The Daily Show and former Daily Show employee Jason Ross as its head writer.
Simmons is one of several former ESPN staples who have hit pay dirt with other media outlets. Bayless is reportedly heading to Fox Sports this summer after his ESPN contract runs out in late August. Meanwhile, Tirico is leaving ESPN to join NBC this summer. Tirico has been with the network since 1991 and Bayless counts 12 years with the company.