Clearly, Guillen's controversial comments regarding Cuban dictator Fidel Castro will be part of the focus of the first episode. The heat the Marlins took in Miami and how they handled the controversy will be played out before the Showtime cameras.
Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins said Wednesday he was pleased with the first episode of the show.
Did you have any idea when you picked the Marlins that you would be in the center of a storm?
Nevins » "No. Who could ever guess we would be on hand for such a happening? Just about every news operation on the planet wanted video from us. We, of course, helped out as best we could, but we saved plenty of things no one will see until Saturday night. It really is a very interesting story from many angles, and we will help show the audience how it played out from the very beginning."
How much access have you had?
Nevins » "I can't say enough about the total freedom that we have been given by the owner, Jeffrey Loria; Larry Beinfest, the team's head of baseball operations; and, of course, manager Ozzie Guillen. We knew that we had a great story. We had the Marlins spending money, becoming a contender, opening in a new stadium and with a real cast of characters. The key here from day one of our filming -- absolutely nothing is off-limits. The Marlins have given us total cooperation from day one. Through the good times and the bad, viewers will see the Marlins as they truly are."
What makes "The Franchise" such a special show?
Nevins » "Baseball is a grind with 162 regular-season games and so many ups and downs. It lends itself to high drama, and clearly getting to know the men that play the game is a large part of what makes the show work. Watching the show is reality television at its best, and we have a large number of non-sports fans that watch, and that is the key to our success. Something for everyone."
Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Check out his blog, Watch this!, on washingtonexaminer.com.