HBO’s “Real Sports” returns for its monthly telecast Tuesday night with a timely story about the sexual abuse of minors in the world of sports.
It’s purely coincidental that the investigative series — full name: “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” — has been working “for months” on its own abuse story and scheduling it for this month — Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 10/9c on HBO.
Mary Carillo, the correspondent on the story, said she and her producers had no inkling that the Penn State abuse story would be cresting at about the same time that the “Real Sports” story — about allegations of sexual abuse in tennis — would finally come to air.
“We’ve been working on that story for months,” Carillo told XfinityTV this week, “and we didn’t know it was going to be topical, but we’ve been at it for a while.”
Carillo, a former pro tennis player, is perhaps best known as a tennis commentator. But she’s been a correspondent on “Real Sports” since 1997. “Real Sports” is the monthly news-magazine show hosted by Bryant Gumbel that’s become known as the “60 Minutes” of sports journalism for its stories on a wide variety of subjects ranging from the plight of retired athletes to the tragedy of children forced to become camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates.
Carillo’s abuse story concerns allegations leveled at Bob Hewitt, a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame who won several titles during his pro heyday in the 1960s and ’70s. Carillo reports on allegations going back as far as the 1970s that Hewitt sexually abused girls and young women. Her story is based on a Boston Globe investigation.
Also on the HBO show: A profile of Brad Stevens, 35-year-old head coach of the Butler University men’s basketball team who has led the team to four NCAA tournaments and two finals.
HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” airs Tuesday night (Nov. 22) at 10/9c.