Simmons was one of HBO's big gets during a time of pricey talent acquisition — the other being Jon Stewart — in 2015, when the popular sports columnist and former ESPN golden boy signed a three-year deal reported to be in the $20-million range to develop content and series for the network. But Any Given Wednesday, which saw Simmons talking with sports stars and fans like Ben Affleck and Kevin Durant, never found an audience.
"One of the many reasons I joined HBO was to see if we could create a show built around smart conversations for sports fans and pop culture junkies," Simmons said in a statement. "We loved making that show, but unfortunately it never resonated with audiences like we hoped. And that's on me. But I love being a part of HBO's family and look forward to innovating with them on other ambitious programming ideas over these next several years - both for the network and for digital. With that said, I want to thank the dedicated staff that worked so diligently with me behind the scenes to make this show every week - we hired so many great and talented people and I loved having them in my life. It's difficult for me to imagine not working with them anymore."
Originally scheduled to air 20 episodes in its first season, the final episode of Any Given Wednesday — its 17th — will air Nov. 9.
Simmons will continue to work with HBO on other projects, most likely on documentaries and online content for HBO Now. Simmons also produces HBO's After the Thrones talk show and founded the sports-heavy editorial site The Ringer.