Hard Knocks to feature 2016 Los Angeles Rams

March 23, 2016

After a two decade absence, there suddenly is a strong NFL presence in Los Angeles again.  Not only have the Rams moved back home to Southern California, but they are also bringing HBO with them.

With anticipation building as the NFL returns to Los Angeles for the first time in 22 years, HBO Sports, NFL Films, and the Los Angeles Rams have teamed up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League on the new season of the league’s signature documentary TV program, Hard Knocks.

“This is an exciting time for our franchise,” said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “Hard Knocks will be an outstanding way to bring our fans into our training camp and preseason, and give a glimpse of the hard work and dedication of our players, coaches and staff as we prepare for the 2016 season.”

Debuting this summer, Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams, will be there every step of the way as NFL Films cameras follow the organization’s return to Southern California.

Cameras are already rolling as Hard Knocks is set to document the Rams’ exciting homecoming. In August, the cinema verit√© series will focus on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches as the Los Angeles Rams, who compete in the powerhouse NFC West division, conduct the franchise’s first training camp in Southern California since the team’s 1946-1994 tenure there.

The series will chronicle fifth-year head coach Jeff Fisher and an intriguing mix of Pro Bowl veterans, emerging stars, free agents, and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason schedule.

Each week, players will experience drills, instruction, meetings, and fun, while striving to prove they have what it takes to make the team and leave their mark on the NFL.

“The Rams are proud to partner with NFL Films and HBO Sports to document the Rams’ return to Los Angeles and the preparations for our upcoming season,” said Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ COO. “Hard Knocks will give fans an in-depth look into our young team and provide us a unique opportunity to tell the story of this historic season.”

A 30-person NFL Films crew will be at the Rams’ training camp at team headquarters in Southern California, shooting more than 1,500 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will have unencumbered access to the players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.  Hard Knocks will be narrated by Liev Schreiber.

The first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – kicks off its five-episode 11th season Tuesday, August 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Other hour-long episodes of the 12-time Sports Emmy-winning series debut subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, culminating in the September 6 season finale.

“From the moment it was announced the Rams would be returning to the Los Angeles market, this franchise felt like a natural for the next season of Hard Knocks,” said Ken Rodgers, coordinating producer, NFL Films. “We look forward to capturing the move to Southern California, training camp and everything in-between.”

The five-part 2015 series on the Houston Texans registered the second-highest viewership level for the show since 2002. Houston, which went on to win the AFC South championship, averaged 4.4 million viewers per episode, a 20% increase from 2014.

Winner of 12 Sports Emmy Awards to date, Hard Knocks launched with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002, and resumed in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs, subsequently spotlighting the Cowboys (2008), Cincinnati Bengals (2009), New York Jets (2010), Miami Dolphins (2012), Bengals (2013), Atlanta Falcons (2014) and Houston Texans (2015).

The last six teams featured on Hard Knocks have equaled or improved their win-loss record in the regular season -- good news for local Rams fans.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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