March has always been a banner month for basketball lovers and TNT has just given another reason for fans of the sport to get excited, with a four-part docuseries about Inside the NBA. The docuseries, entitled The Inside Story, will air on TNT starting March 4, with an official trailer released last week.
“Inside the NBA has been on the air for more than 30 years,” reports UPROXX “and is, for many, the most beloved sports studio show of all-time.” Ernie Johnson has served as the stalwart host of Inside the NBA, there since the talk show’s inception in 1989. Over the decades, Johnson has drafted a panel of grandiose personalities to Inside the NBA’s hosting team, including NBA veterans Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. UPROXX describes the series as “one of the more fun sports shows on TV”, crediting the chemistry of the show’s hosts.
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TNT’s four-part docuseries on the decade-spanning basketball talk show will not only include interviews and behind-the-scenes stories from the show’s current hosts, but also from the numerous celebrity fans the series has garnered. While the series first official trailer focused on the personalities that built Inside the NBA’s fervent fanbase, a sneak preview released by TNT last year provided a glimpse into some of the interview subjects that audiences could expect to see during the course of the docuseries. Iconic basketball personalities such as Magic Johnson and Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) could be seen discussing their love for Inside the NBA alongside non-athlete celebrities such as Snoop Dogg (Turbo, Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge), Common (John Wick: Chapter 2, Selma), J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Spider-Man: Far From Home) and Kenan Thompson (Kenan, Saturday Night Live).
Inside the NBA’s achievements in innovative and entertaining sports journalism have garnered the series neato stats such as nine Emmy awards and a Transformative Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020, according to HoopHall.
The Inside Story is likely to appeal to audiences who enjoyed ESPN and Netflix’s Chicago Bulls docuseries The Last Dance, as the trailer for the upcoming series has already drawn many comparisons to the Michael Jordan focused docuseries by basketball fans online. As The Last Dance made our list of “The Top 10 Television Shows of 2020”, being compared to the series is not a shabby start for The Inside Story.
Docuseries and made-for-TV documentaries such as Tiger King and Framing Britney Spears have become an increasingly popular pipeline into the cultural zeitgeist over the past couple of years. Sports docuseries such as Cheer, Last Chance U and the previously mentioned The Last Dance have proven capable of hitting it big with mainstream audiences as well. March will indicate whether TNT’s The Inside Story will be able to achieve the same level popularity as other docuseries or whether it will retire from relevance like an NBA team that has gone fishin’.