REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL Presents a Roundtable Review of 2017, 12/12

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL Presents a Roundtable Review of 2017, 12/12

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL caps its 23rd season with a roundtable review of the show's most memorable moments this year when the series' 249th edition, available in HDTV, debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 12 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The show is also available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

Departing from the show's regular format, host Bryant Gumbel leads correspondents Mary Carillo, Bernard Goldberg, Jon Frankel, Andrea Kremer, Soledad O'Brien and David Scott in a spirited discussion of 2017, recapping the most significant stories of the year.

In 2017, REAL SPORTS captured worldwide headlines for David Scott's exclusive one-on-one with Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman's first interview with a Western outlet in several years. Scott traveled to Chechnya to explore Kadyrov's blossoming Akhmat MMA fight club and desire to boost Chechen nationalism through sport. Kadyrov also addressed allegations of gay purging in Chechnya and revealed his thoughts on the Western world and nuclear confrontation.

The roundtable also discusses some of the polarizing issues addressed by REAL SPORTS in 2017, such as: the legal effort to expand sports betting outside Nevada, and the implications of pro sports teams moving to the gambling capital; the irreversible damage to one of the world's most fascinating landmarks, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, likely the result of climate change; and the booming billion-dollar youth sports industry in the U.S. and how it affects the athletes, their families and the cities cashing in on this growing business.

REAL SPORTS presented eye-opening profiles of memorable figures this year, among them: remarkable pinball wizard Robert Gagno, who has channeled his challenges with autism through his excellence in pinball; former top MLB Draft pick Matt Bush, whose struggles with substance abuse forced him out of baseball and into prison, but returned to the big leagues as a flame-throwing pitcher for the Texas Rangers; Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel, a Ph.D candidate pursuing a career in mathematics off the field, who stepped away from the game after learning about the dangers football might pose to his mind; and infamous ball hawk Zack Hample, who has gained notoriety for his statistical and cutthroat approach toward catching home run balls at MLB games.

Jon Frankel revisited former NFL fullback Kevin Turner, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. Telling his story for six years, Frankel followed Turner as his body deteriorated and he came to grips with the fact that the game he loved had probably caused his ALS. Turner his passed away in 2016.

Premiering on HBO in April 1995, REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL captured two awards for the first time in 2017, receiving a News and Documentary Emmy® for its eye-opening Nov. 2016 report on the dangers of youth football. The series also received its first Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award, for a 2016 exposé of the International Olympic Committee.

The executive producers of REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL are Rick Bernstein and Joe Perskie; senior coordinating producer, Nick Dolin; coordinating producer, Tim Walker; producers, Lisa Bennett, Maggie Burbank, Chapman Downes, Josh Fine and Jordan Kronick; associate producers, Max Gershberg, Nisreen Habbal, Naimah Jabali-Nash, Katie Melone, Beret Remak and Jake Rosenwasser; production associates, Evan Burgos, Valentina Caval, Emmett Knowlton and Daniel Litke.

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