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Jemele Hill to Narrate LeBron’s Shut Up and Dribble

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LeBron James’ three part documentary, Shut Up and Dribble debuts on Showtime next month, and when it does, viewers will hear a familiar voice. Former ESPN host and writer Jemele Hill has signed on to narrate the film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hill was always going to be involved, but originally her involvement was simply as an interview subject.

Hill — who has covered the NBA for ESPN and began her journalism career as a sports writer (at the Raleigh News & Observer and then the Detroit Free Press) — was originally booked as an interviewee. But the fact that Hill famously expressed her dismay with President Trump in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Va., makes enlisting her all the more apt. After she became the target of virulent comments and threats from the alt-right, James voiced his support for her. “Once you’re in the club,” she says, “it’s something that binds you.”

James and director Gotham Chopra filmed an array of interviews for Shut Up and Dribble, which highlights activism in sports and the reaction of the public and the media. Jay Z, Charles Barkley, Justin Timberlake, and Kevin Durant are all slated to appear in the documentary, which takes its name from Fox News’s Laura Ingraham and her criticism of James himself.

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3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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