Here’s the list of the best scripted sports shows on television, according to Rick Lukens.

1.SPORTS NIGHT, (ABC) Based on behind-the scenes look at production of a Sportscenter-like show. Lasted only two seasons but gained a cult following after cancellation. Written and created by Aaron Sorkin.

2.FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC/DIRECTV) Small town Texas football. Based on the book/movie. Created by Peter Berg. Critically acclaimed show that never gained an audience.

3.ARLISS (HBO) Robert Whul as a sports agent. Great cast, great writing. Lots of walk ons by real sports stars. Jerry Maguire meets Entourage.

4.COACH (ABC) Among the top 25 sit-coms ever. Based on the football coach at Minnesota State University. Starring Craig T. Nelson and Jerry Van Dyk.

5.THE BRONX IS BURNING (ESPN) Miniseries based on the Yankees of the late 70s as Reggie Jackson joins the team. Great cast, marginal writing.

6.EAST BOUND AND DOWN (HBO) Former MLB pitcher moves back to home town and gets a job as a PE teacher. Not a show for the kids…but very funny.

7.THE WHITE SHADOW (CBS) Groundbreaking show in 70s-80s. Former NBA player becomes coach at at South Central LA high school. First network show with predominantly african american cast.

8.PLAYMAKERS, (ESPN) ESPN’s first attempt at drama. Based on behind the scenes with a pro football team. Good points for edginess. Mediocre writing and acting.

9.THE LEAGUE, (FX) Based on a group of friends whose common bond is a fantasy football league. Edgy humor with cameo appearances by real NFL players

10.HANG TIME, (NBC) It was “Saved By The Bell” based on a high school basketball team. Saturday cartoon block. Very few redeeming qualities. Guilty pleasure.

Missed The Cut
LISTEN UP, (CBS) Based on Tony Kornheiser/Michael Wilbon.
PRO STARS (NBC) Cartoon with Jordan, Gretzky, and Bo Jackson fighting crime.
THE JERSEY (Disney Channel) Kids put on NFL Jerseys and are transported to fantasy involving the player whose jersey they are wearing.

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