The 14 Sports Emmy Award winning franchise is back tonight.  HBO Sports has joined forces with    the National Hockey League once again to take viewers inside one of the sport’s biggest rivalries:  Flyers and Rangers.  HBO will be following the Flyers and the Rangers simultaneously, recording their ups and their downs each week.  The series builds up to the highly anticipated Winter Classic game on the 2nd of January at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Key players such as Brandon Dubinsky and Scott Hartnell will be in the spotlight along with head coaches Peter Laviolette and John Tortorella as the two teams battle through every game in December.  The 4-part series will take you inside the locker room, and show you a whole side of the two teams you never have before.  It will give you an even better idea of the players’ and coaches’ personalities and really gives you an inside look on the two teams.  Liev Schreiber’s great narration along with music laid into the footage makes it that much more dramatic.

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NHL.com did a Q&A feature with the series’ producer, Dave Harmon, regarding the show:

NHL.com: Are you still finding yourself surprised at some of the footage or does it seem any more routine because you’ve already documented two hockey teams in the middle of the season?

Harmon: Because each regular season game brings something different and unexpected, we’re always surprised by what our cameras pick up. So far this season, we’ve shot three games each with the Flyers and Rangers, and have received at least one surprising moment from each game.

NHL.com: How much more enticing is the show knowing that the Rangers and Flyers have been doing a lot of winning, and does it make the footage from the locker rooms more colorful as a result?

Harmon: The purpose of “24/7” is to show the journey of the athletes. To humanize them, to show what they’re going through and the sacrifices they sometimes have to make for their sport. Whether the teams are winning or losing, that remains the same. Of course locker rooms are more joyful after wins, but viewers can learn a lot about the players after losses, as well.

NHL.com: Has the cooperation you’ve received from both teams been as good, better or worse than you got from the Penguins and Capitals last season?

 

Harmon: The cooperation has been exactly the same — total, complete access. We’re thrilled with what we’ve received so far this season.

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.

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Episode #1 will air tonight on HBO from 10-11 p.m. (EST).  Episodes two and three will both debut on subsequent Wednesdays: December 21st and December 28th.  The finale, which will have all the drama and excitement surrounding the teams on game day, will debut 8 days from then on Thursday, January 5th.  All four episodes will be replayed several times on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.  For a full schedule of replay dates and times, click here.

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