Baseball-themed TV series have been few, and short-lived

When Fox debuts «Pitch» on Thursday night, it'll mark just the fourth time in nearly a quarter-century that one of the Big Four broadcast networks has premiered a baseball-themed series.Despite an abundance of baseball movies, including such popular fareas «Bull Durham,» «Field of Dreams» and «Major League,» scripted baseball series have been few and far between on television and usually have been short-lived.MORE: The 13 best baseball-themed TV episodes ever, ranked | SN reviews 'Pitch' Here's a look at the baseball-themed series to find their way to the airwaves, listed by most recent:'Eastbound and Down' (2009—2013, HBO) The series focused on Kenny Powers (Danny McBride), awashed-up, boisterous, politically incorrect and offensiveformer big-league pitcher who returns to his hometown and becomes a substitute gym teacher. The series earned praise for its brashne s and was a hit with audiences and critics. Creators have said the inspiration for Powers' ego andbad attitude was controversial former MLB pitcher John Rocker.See a NSFW trailer below. 'Back in the Game' (2013, ABC) James Caan starred in this sitcom asTerry «The Cannon» Gannon, a loud-mouthed former athlete who helps his estranged former softball star daughter, played by Maggie Lawson,coach a band of misfit youth baseball players. Wackine s ensued Denard Span Jersey for only13 episodes, despite decent reviews. 'The Bronx is Burning' (2007, ESPN) The eight-episode dramatization of the 1977 Yankees' World Series run, based on the book «Ladies and Gentleman, the Bronx is Burning,»was a rare foray into scripted fare for ESPN.The series, featuringJohn Turturro as Yankees manager Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner and Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Wilson Ramos Jersey Jackson,highlighted the behind-the-scenes turmoil that defined much of theseasonagainst the backdrop ofNew York City during theSummer of Sam. The series earned mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers.Though technically a mini-series, it's inclusion here is warranted. 'Hardball' (1994, Fox) Talk about bad timing. «Hardball,» Fox's last attempt at a baseball series, debuted during the 1994 MLB strike. The sitcomfocused on a fictional American League team called the Pioneers and starred, among others, Bruce Greenwood and Joe Rogan. It lasted nine episodes. Unfortunately, no video could be found.'A League of Their Own' (1993, CBS) Despite the succe s of the 1992 movie, the 1993 TV adaptation lasted just six episodes, most likelybecause it lacked the A-list talent the movie had (although Penny Marshall and Tom Hanks each directed an episode). Most people don't even remember that it existed. Watch the opening credits below. (The sound is terrible.) 'Bay City Blues' (1983, NBC) The drama from «Hill Street Blues» and «NYPD Blue» creator Steven Bochco focused ona minor league team as it made the rounds. Despite some eventually famous faces, including Dennis Franz and Sharon Stone,fans hardly had time to get to know the players,as the series suffered low ratings and lasted just eight episodes. 'The Bad News Bears' (1979—1980, CBS) The «Bad News Bears» franchise was already three movies deepwhen a TV adaptation debuted in 1979. None of the actors from the films made the trip to television, however. In the TV version,Jack Warden was the star attraction in the Walter Matthau role from the movie, while a slew of new faces includinga very young Corey Feldman playedcharacters established in the films. The show lasted two seasons. 'Ball Four' (1976, CBS) The comedy was inspired by Jim Bouton's controversial «Ball Four» book and actually featured Bouton in the starring role as a player on the fictionalWashington Americanswho decides to write a series of articles about his team's exploits. As you might imagine, it didn't last long just five episodes. It's noteworthy, however, because it featured a gay character (a player, no le s), which was a bold move in 1976.

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