Jimmie Johnson To Be First Non-Boxing Athlete On HBO's "24/7"
HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured seven Sports Emmy® Awards, will debut its first non-boxing series with 24/7 JIMMIE JOHNSON: RACE TO DAYTONA, an all-new, four-episode, all-access series chronicling the driver and his team as they prepare for the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of auto racing, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports. Debuting TUESDAY, JAN. 26 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), the four-week series spotlights one of racing’s biggest stars, reigning three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, and gives viewers an inside look at the driver and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the biggest race of the year.
Noted Greenburg, “Taking our reality series ‘24/7’ behind the scenes in the world of NASCAR is like a dream come true. The ‘24/7’ franchise thrives on larger-than-life personalities, engaging storylines and unrestricted access. With Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports team, we have all of those ingredients, and more. We look forward to presenting a compelling television program that takes race fans deeper inside NASCAR than they’ve ever been before.”
Ensuing episodes of 24/7 JIMMIE JOHNSON: RACE TO DAYTONA will debut on subsequent Tuesdays – Feb. 2, 9 and 16 – in prime time. The Feb. 16 series finale will debut two days after the race, with cameras tracking all the drama and excitement surrounding Johnson and his team on race day. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand.
24/7 JIMMIE JOHNSON: RACE TO DAYTONA will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews with Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus, team owner Rick Hendrick and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team as they prepare for the 2010 Daytona 500.
Johnson says that getting his wife Chandra on board with the idea of cameras following them around was not difficult, since they had seen earlier “24/7” shows. "Chandra and I were big fans of the ‘24/7’ series with Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather, and that’s kind of how this all came about,” says Johnson, who along with his wife founded the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million for various charities since its inception in 2006.
“We thought HBO did a great job of showing what goes into a big-time event and capturing the personal side of each fighter and his camp,” he continues. “It just seemed like the perfect outlet to let the fans see what our team goes through and what better place to showcase that than our biggest race – the Daytona 500.
“This is something we’ve really never allowed with our race team before, an all-access look into how we operate. We’ve had some people that have followed us around on a limited basis, but no one has ever had the access like HBO will have. Personally, I’m really looking forward to it. This is a great chance for the fans to really see me and the race team and what makes us tick, especially away from the track.”
Making his HBO reality series debut, Johnson is currently competing in his eighth season at NASCAR’s highest level and is regarded as one of the biggest names and best drivers in racing. He has won the sport’s marquee races, including the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400, and currently ranks second on NASCAR’s all-time win list for active drivers with 45. In November 2008, Johnson won his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, solidifying his status as a bona fide superstar. The southern California native is leading the 2009 Chase for the Cup as he seeks a fourth consecutive title.
24/7 JIMMIE JOHNSON: RACE TO DAYTONA is HBO Sports’ first reality foray into the world of racing and the first non-boxing installment of the acclaimed “24/7” franchise that began in 2007 with “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7” and “Mayweather/Hatton 24/7.” The series continued in 2008 with “Calzaghe/Jones 24/7” and “De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7,” and resumed in 2009 with “Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7” and “24/7 Mayweather/Marquez,” which will be followed by “24/7 Pacquiao/Cotto,” debuting Oct. 24.
Newsday.com has observed, “HBO’s ‘24/7’ series is the best sports program on television. Bar none.”
With seven Sports Emmy® Awards, “24/7” is the most honored sports series of the past two years. At the 2009 Sports Emmy® Awards, “De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7” was honored in the category of Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthologies, while “Calzaghe/Jones 24/7” was honored in the categories of Outstanding Edited Sports Special, Outstanding Editing and Outstanding Post Produced Audio/Sound. At the 2008 Sports Emmy® Awards, “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7” was honored in the category of Outstanding Edited Sports Special, while “Mayweather/Hatton 24/7” was honored in the categories of Outstanding Camera Work and Outstanding Writing.
The executive producers of 24/7 JIMMIE JOHNSON: RACE TO DAYTONA are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; coordinating producer, Dave Harmon; Liev Schreiber narrates. NASCAR Media Group, the leading producer of NASCAR on television, will provide production support for HBO Sports.