New York (Aug. 18, 2009) – This fall, SHOWTIME Sports® and the National Football League® celebrate the 50th season of the maverick American Football League, from its tumultuous beginnings to its unlikely merger with the rival NFL, through an insightful NFL Films-produced five-part documentary entitled Full Color Football: The History of the American Football League, premiering on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on SHOWTIME®.
Follow the birth of the only league to successfully rival the NFL from its innovative and wild beginnings to the most stunning upset in pro football history and the eventual powerhouse merger. SHOWTIME Sports will air the five-part documentary every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT starting on Sept. 16, until the finale on Oct. 8.
The AFL was full of unique personalities both on and off the field. Breaking with tradition and challenging a powerful institution, it brought America a new and exciting brand of football.
"This is the quintessential underdog story in both sports and in business," said Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "This is the first documentary ever presented by SHOWTIME Sports. And with the colorful characters and unique personalities of the up-start AFL brought to life by NFL Films, this promises to be one of the most compelling sports documentaries ever made."
"The AFL is one of the great American success stories, and it is a story with a lot of colorful characters," said NFL Films president Steve Sabol. "In this project we celebrate the AFL while also debunking myths about why the league succeeded."
Weaving through the social, cultural and political events of the tumultuous 1960s, Full Color Football examines the daring vision of league-founder Lamar Hunt and his dream to challenge the NFL.
Through rare interviews from some of the biggest names in the AFL, including Joe Namath, Al Davis and John Madden, long lost game highlights and never before seen footage, Full Color Football tells the inside story of the outsiders who forever changed the game.
Pop culture personalities and historians will also pay tribute and analyze the vibrant history and free-thinking
spirit of the Americans who dared to challenge the NFL and strive for greatness.
Part One, "The New Frontier," examines Hunt's radical idea that was born on an airplane after the NFL refused his attempt to purchase a pro football franchise. Follow the seemingly foolish dream into reality through the back stories of the AFL's founders. From the league's humble beginnings of games played in mostly empty stadiums to the landmark 1962 AFL Championship – a double overtime thriller – Part One takes an in-depth look at the beginning of "The New Frontier."
Details on Parts Two though Five will be announced by SHOWTIME Sports.
NFL Films and SHOWTIME began working together in 2008 producing the Emmy® Award winning "Inside the NFL."