Tonight is a big night for original NHL programming as two series get under way. HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic gets under way at 10 PM ET. According to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, the finishing touches are still being put on, just hours from its debut.. Liev Schreiber still needs to do his narration and the music needs to be added to footage. Rosen has a short Q & A with Sr. Producer Dave Harmon. From the article –
NHL.com: Does anybody from the Rangers and Flyers, or the NHL, get a special look at the show before it airs?
Harmon: A couple of League and team people look at the show in the hours before it airs. Primarily as a “second set” of eyes to make sure HBO hasn’t inadvertently revealed any competitive secrets from the teams.
NHL.com: How many hours or even minutes do you spare between the time the show is 100-percent done and the time it goes to air?
Harmon: The show is completed approximately an hour before air time. But each week is different, depending on the footage and storylines which have developed. Sometimes we have a little more time than that, sometimes less.
It is interesting how it goes right down to the wire in creating each 24/7 episode. Its amazing especially when you consider how compelling and polished each episode is. As expected, Rangers coach John Tortorella isn’t a fan of the cameras. From Newsday –
“There’s no question; I can’t stand it,” Tortorella said. “But it doesn’t affect my coaching. Listen, let me make it clear. are good guys, good guys. I just don’t want people in our locker room. But I know we have to do it.”
As part of participating in the Winter Classic, teams are required by the league to sign on to the HBO project. And Tortorella acknowledged that, most of the time, “you don’t even notice” the presence of the cameras. “I don’t even see them. That’s where they’re really good. It hasn’t affected how we go about our business. I just don’t agree with it.”
He has not, he insisted, edited himself for the cameras. “Because I know we have final say” in what will be broadcast. “You know, things happen. The last thing I want to happen on that show is a player looked at the wrong way. It’s an emotional game, emotional times. There’s plenty enough stuff you can turn into a good show without a player being jammed up or be in a tough spot that is seen by everybody.
“I don’t want you to think it’s a free-for-all in that locker room every night, screaming and yelling, because it doesn’t happen. And I think you’ll see that as we go through it.”
Meanwhile, over on Versus, NHL 36 will debut at 6:30 PM ET, focusing on Patrick Kane. The program will be the first for the newly launched NHL Original Productions. NHL 36 will also air on the NHL Network in both the U.S. and Canada. The program sounds very similar to the old A Day In The Life Of which formerly aired on NHLN. It will be interesting to see how it differs and how it improves from that series.