Lebron James: TV entrepreneur


NBA Champion Lebron James has taken his popularity, and recent win to a television near you. I have heard of his new CNBC reality show Cleveland Hustles in which he tries to give local Cleveland business leaders a chance to live their dreams, but it it is his most recent endeavor that got my attention. According to this recently published  article, James is “continuing to mine the world of sports for television,” by creating and setting up a new CBS comedy called Thankless.


This new show is about a group of assistants within a Chicago sports agency hoping to pursue their dreams into stardom. The comedy is still in production, and is being produced by How I Met Your Mother’s Matt Zinman. There is only the brief description of the series out there. I wonder whether it will be 30 min? An hour? Will it follow the typical sitcom format?

I’m really interested to see how the ratings turn out for this show. Can a superstar athlete also be a TV creator? With his successful career and recent championship will it be a top watched show? Will it receive a renewal? There are so many thoughts I can’t wait to have answered with the airing of the new show.

-Katie Nelson


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8 Responses to Lebron James: TV entrepreneur

  1. mediaphiles says:

    Athletes making the switch to film and television is always interesting. Dwayne Johnson is perhaps the most successful case I can think of, and he’s certainly a very charismatic and talented actor. Dave Bautista is another recent example of an athlete making the career jump into entertainment, and he also was delightful with his performance in Guardians of the Galaxy. I think big name wrestlers like these guys can make the transition easily because so much of televised wrestling is performance-based. It’s very scripted, and these athletes really play characters and ham it up for audiences, so they’re already trained in the art of performance. However, after his less than stellar performance in Trainwreck, I’m going to hold my breath on this Lebron James series. Basketball is not nearly as theatrical as wrestling, and I can’t really think of many famous basketball-player-turned-actor success stories. You win some, you lose some, I suppose.

    –Kevin Pabst

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Watching Lebron James in the film Trainwreck was my first real hint at his quality in terms of acting and film presence. I agree with Kevin in that he wasn’t Oscar worthy in the film, but his delivery was quality and he made the audience laugh (which was the goal, I presume). I’m interested to see where he goes with the rumored Space Jam 2 movie, and fill in Michael Jordan’s shoes. –Serena Daya

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with the comments above. Although I know little about sports and athletes lives, I tend to find that most celebrities (including athletes) try to take on every aspect of the hollywood lifestyle including acting, singing, clothing line, etc. Many times, not all of these aspects are successful because the person is not talented in the other areas. Personally, sometimes I think its too much when they try to step out of their expertise to attract more attention but in cases like this where he doesn’t have to act too much out of character it may be interesting to see how it works out. Again, I know very little about athletes so I may be completely wrong and this may be a huge hit!

    Alexandra Peralta

  4. mediaphiles says:

    Celebrities try to have it all and they usually cannot. Being likable is not enough in modern America. While Lebron James is likable, seemingly because he has a large fan following, I personally do not feel that he is relatable. Maybe it is because I am heavily disinterested in sports, who knows. I also feel as if sport-related shows do not succeed unless they are reality. In addition, how do you make sports funny, especially with people like me who do not understand athletic jargon? – Andrew Guido

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I think capitalizing on popularity in media is definitely a strong move for Lebron James. It honestly doesn’t matter if he’s a good actor or not- people will tune in to what he’s working on because of who he is. If it keeps the paychecks coming, then he’ll keep doing it.


  6. mediaphiles says:

    I think that Lebron is definitely smart for taking advantage of his huge worldwide star power, however I do not think that he is going to be successful with it. I dont want to be a hater because of my dislike for Lebron in basketball, but I think that his appearances in movies have been generally disliked by audiences and he has not always received the best reviews for his roles in movies from what I have heard. I think his true personality will always get in the way of the image he tries to portray to the public.


  7. mediaphiles says:

    I can’t stand Lebron. I’m just going to put that out there. I do think it will be an automatic success because it caters to an audience who may not be that into other shows – sports fanatics. It will be a change from your regular sportscenter or ESPN news talk shows but still gives them a taste of sports. I look forward to checking it out!

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