Peyton Manning will be doing analysis of NFL games this season after all.
ESPN and Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios announced Wednesday that Manning will be part of a football edition of the “Detail” franchise. The eight-episode series will be on the ESPN+ streaming service and debuts on Thursday.
Bryant said during a phone interview with The Associated Press that he started discussions with Manning once “Detail” premiered last April.
“I had an idea in the back of my mind once I came up with it on where it can expand to other sports,” Bryant said. “Peyton was the perfect choice. He seemingly spoke a foreign language while on the field but he can outline what he is seeing and why they are making adjustments.”
“Detail” debuted with 10 episodes during the NBA playoffs, often focusing on one player. The football iteration will carry the same blueprint. Manning’s first episode analyzes Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen’s game last week against the Minnesota Vikings.
NFL Films will also work in collaboration with Granity Studios in producing and editing the series. Bryant said the series is an extension of Manning watching game film and saying what he usually wrote in his notebook.
Manning was courted by Fox and ESPN for their Thursday and Monday night packages but he declined. Whether this is a first step toward him exploring a role as a full-time analyst beginning next season remains to be seen.
“I’ve always enjoyed talking football with coaches, players and passionate fans, and that’s at the core of this show,” Manning said in a statement. “I’m honored to help expand Kobe’s Detail to a football audience.”
The NBA and the NFL aren’t the only sports that “Detail” will focus on. A UFC edition will debut next year when ESPN takes over as the rights holder. Bryant is also interested in adding baseball and soccer editions.
Bryant said a second season of NBA “Detail” is on track to debut after the All-Star break in February.
“I had fun looking at it analytically because that is hard to turn that off,” Bryant said. “It is taking everything as is but seeing how film should be looked at. There is a curiosity in watching the game and the broad concepts. Then everything opens up as a young kid and athlete.”
Bryant was in Minneapolis on Wednesday but said he is excited to see LeBron James’ home debut with the Lakers on Saturday against Houston.
“I think they are going to do better than what most people think. It is an exciting time for LA and to have that energy back,” Bryant said.