Arts & Entertainment

LA Rams to get 'Hard Knocks' treatment on HBO

In this file photo, fans of the St. Louis Rams hold a
In this file photo, fans of the St. Louis Rams hold a "Los Angeles Rams" sign against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on November 23, 2014 in San Diego, California.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The new season of the NFL show "Hard Knocks" will focus on the Rams and the team's move to Los Angeles.

The 11th season of the reality sports show, which each year takes viewers inside the training camp of a single team, will deliver five episodes and coincide with the Rams return to L.A. after 22 years, according to a team announcement Wednesday.

"From the moment it was announced the Rams would be returning to the Los Angeles market, this franchise felt like a natural for the next season of 'Hard Knocks,'" NFL Films coordinating producer Ken Rodgers said in a written statement. "We look forward to capturing the move to Southern California, training camp and everything in-between."

The Rams played at the Memorial Coliseum from 1946 to 1979, before briefly moving to Anaheim Stadium. They left the L.A. area after the 1994 season and have played in St. Louis ever since.

Their return was announced in January amid intense speculation over the future of football in L.A. Two other teams — the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers — had also geared up for a potential move to L.A. At one time three different stadium proposals were on the table in the L.A. area.

Fans responded enthusiastically. In just two days, the team sold 45,000 season ticket deposits, which only secured purchasers a place in line to buy the tickets, not the tickets themselves.

"Hard Knocks" is known for gaining exclusive access to the teams and players. The audience gets a behind-the-scenes look at training camp as players strive "to prove they have what it takes to make the team and leave their mark on the NFL," according to the Rams release.

The show has netted 12 Sports Emmy Awards. The first season, in 2001, focused on the Baltimore Ravens. Last year it was the Houston Texans.

A highlights reel from HBO offers a sense of the show's look and feel:

NFL Films plans to send a 30-person crew to the Rams training camp for this season. The team said the crew is expected to shoot more than 1,500 hours of footage.

On the league's "Around the NFL" blog, Gregg Rosenthal offers up his six reasons to watch, which include getting a unique look at what happens when an entire team is uprooted, big questions over who will be quarterback and an array of colorful characters, including an aggressive defensive coordinator who was involved in a scandalous NFL cover-up just a few seasons back.

The Rams will play at the Memorial Coliseum before moving to a brand new stadium in Inglewood.

The new season debuts on Aug. 9 on HBO and will be hosted by actor Liev Schreiber.