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When big-named athletes nab TV gigs, those jobs are usually in the form of in-studio analysts or commentators. No stranger to both of those duties, Major League Baseball great Alex Rodriguez is doing something a little different for an upcoming TV project, as he's been tapped to host the pilot for Back in the Game, a reality show with a unique premise partly centered on the hot button issue of the negative financial situations of retired athletes. And CNBC is the one putting it together, so maybe don't expect Bachelor-esque drama.
Back in the Game, which is the show's tentative title and could later change, would be hosted by Alex Rodriguez, although it's not exactly clear if he would just be an omniscient narrator or if he'll be more hands-on. The structure for the unscripted project would take former athletes who have faced unfortunate money troubles and then set them up with mentors whose money-managing expertise could be the only thing stopping full-on financial implosion. Deals over retirement plans for older athletes is something that the NFL Players Association has had as a major concern in recent years, so this new show could be a good step toward possibly fixing that problem.
Understandably, the paths that the former sports pros will be given equal more than just putting coins in a piggy bank. The financial advisors will work with the athletes on striking out into a completely different career path or getting new businesses off the ground, though sometimes the efforts will be more focused on eliminating debt over making profits. Of course, this is all going with the assumption that these former stars are going to be willing to listen to others telling them what to do with their money, which isn't the most likely scenario from which friendships flourish.
Alex Rodriguez knows a little bit about dollar signs, seeing as how he's been a high-paid MLB headliner for a dozen years now. (A mostly honorable stint that was definitely hampered by a performance-enhanced scandal a few years back.) He last played with the New York Yankees last August, and he'll be receiving another $20 million this year to finish out his ridiculously lucrative 10-year, $275 million contract. Plus, he can still sign on as a free agent somewhere if he chooses to continue playing the big game.
Beyond just Alex Rodriguez, Back in the Game has another sports legend on its side, with former New York Giants superstar and morning TV regular Michael Strahan serving as an executive producer. It's the only sports-related show in the works at CNBC, though, which is also developing The Fame Economy, in which Simpsons star Hank Azaria takes a detailed look at the costs of being famous, from the financial ups and downs to the psychological problems and more. Sounds like that would be a solid bookend for Back in the Game's subjects.
At this point, Back in the Game in in the pilot development process, so there's no telling if it'll get beyond that point, or even when CNBC will make a decision about it. In the meantime, though, you can head to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything that's confirmed to be heading to TV in the near future.