Fox Soccer Channel to debut 'David Beckham's Soccer USA' on July 25
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/19/2007
Fox Soccer Channel has announced the premiere of David Beckham's Soccer USA, a new docu-reality series that will follow the British-born footballer as he makes his American debut and plays his first season for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy.
David Beckham's Soccer USA is scheduled to premiere on Wednesday, July 25 at 9PM ET.
The 32-year-old soccer star and husband of Spice Girl Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham recently stopped playing for Europe's Real Madrid after signing a $250 million deal in January to play for the Galaxy in an attempt to make soccer as popular in the States as it is in the rest of the world.
The 13-episode series will begin with Beckham's first match with the Galaxy -- an exhibition game scheduled for this Saturday against the English club Chelsea FC. The remaining episodes will take place at a different MLS tilt each week, and will include video highlights from Galaxy games and Beckham's personal life; interviews with him and others from MLS; as well as special segments about his life leading up to his trip to America and what he plans to do now that he's here.
"David Beckham's arrival is a tremendous milestone in U.S. soccer history, and Fox Soccer Channel is intent on covering his impact on the game from every possible angle," said David Sternberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fox Soccer Channel. "David Beckham's Soccer USA will provide an insider's look at his performance with the Los Angeles Galaxy."
David Beckham's Soccer USA will be hosted by Natalie Pinkham and is a 19 Entertainment Production in association with MLS and Soccer United Marketing. It's executive produced by Robert Dodds, Simon Fuller, Robert Massie and Michael Cohen.
19 Entertainment's involvement in the project should come as no surprise since in addition to being run by American Idol creator Simon Fuller, who also manages both Beckhams and negotiated David's $250 million deal with the Galaxy, it is also the same company that produced NBC's Victoria Beckham: Coming to America one-hour special.
Like his wife, David is also no stranger to reality television. Last year, he starred in David Beckham: A Footballer's Story, a 19 Entertainment-produced U.K. television special that followed his preparation for the 2006 World Cup.
Beckham is probably hoping that his soccer-themed docu-reality show and his new MLS career fare a bit better than Coming to America, which was originally announced as a six-episode NBC reality series but was instead cut to a one-hour special that aired this past Monday at 8PM ET. It averaged a 2.2/7 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic and 5 million total viewers.
However Victoria apparently has no plans to go down without a fight, as NBC -- which given it now reportedly doesn't have any future Beckham projects in the works, would appear to have little reason to continue to attempt to market Beckham to apparently largely disinterested American viewers -- announced Wednesday that she'll host the network's Thursday night comedy line-up this week from 8PM to 10PM ET, which will include repeats of My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock and Scrubs. NBC will then rebroadcast Coming to America at 10PM ET.
Following its July 25 premiere broadcast, episodes of David Beckham's Soccer USA will air at 8PM ET on August 1, 8 and 29 as well as September 5, 19 and 26. It will air at 7:30PM ET on August 15; September 12; and October 3, 10 and 17; and at 7PM ET on August 22.