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Published on September 7th, 2021 | by Guest Author


Jason Sciavicco Talks About ‘Titletown High’ and How He Became a Successful Producer in Sports Entertainment

“For us, being able to take the viewers, and peel back the curtain, and show them the real raw moments with their family and their struggles…at the end of the day, they’re just normal people with high-profile jobs,” says sports entertainment producer Jason Sciavicco. The producer has become somewhat of a storyteller through showrunning docuseries that offer a new perspective on athletes, and the struggles they endure within sports and their personal life. His critically-acclaimed projects include Two-A-Days, Friday Night Tykes, A Season With, and his most recent Netflix project, Titletown High.

His career started when he was a student at Florida State when he helped produce student-run sports shows on the football team. While in college, Sciavicco was hired by ABC Sports as a production assistant, an opportunity that led him to New York City. He received an offer to work for the XFL, a football league owned by WWE’s Vince McMahon, and accepted. Although the XFL only lasted for one season, Sciavicco was then approached by WWE to become a producer for backstage segments. While wrestling is arguably the most entertainment-focused sport filmed, it was the producer’s first entry into sports entertainment. Through the position, he discovered the keys behind storytelling within sports and how to keep an audience captivated.

Although Sciavicco admits that while he enjoyed his job at WWE, he needed to feel more challenged within his career. Inspired by Hard Knocks, a successful reality series that went behind the scenes and filmed the training of NFL players, Sciavicco had an idea for his first successful project, Two-A-Days. The show came about after Sciavicco realized that a “show that follows high school football for a whole season, and what these kids have to go through with the pressure of parents and earning scholarships is so much more dramatic than an NFL guy.” Although the show was a major hit when it premiered on MTV in 2006, with over 55 million people tuning in to watch, pitching it to executives was a gamble. “It was uncharted territory,” describes Sciavicco, “where you took sports and entertainment, and you mixed them to tell stories.” In spite of that, MTV executives fell in love with the idea, and the show no doubt launched Sciavicco’s career in the sports documentary series genre.

With the success of Two-A-Days came Friday Night Tykes, a controversial series that premiered on NBC in 2014. The show followed eight to ten-year-olds and their intense football training in San Antonio, Texas. Although it was a hit, it caused quite the controversy because of it being released at a time where “society was questioning how far is too far to push our kids in sports.” To offer some commentary on what the show was like to film, Sciavicco recounts, “we gained the trust of a lot of characters, and they allowed us to tell real raw stories of how hard they push their kids. Here are 8 to 10-year-olds playing football, and if you close your eyes and listen to them practicing and the coach yelling, you would think you were at a high school football practice.”

Sciavicco’s next project was A Season With, a series that premiered in 2015 on Showtime and followed huge college football teams including Notre Dame, Florida State, and the US Naval Academy. What made the project notable was how it showcased Sciavicco’s expertise within sports as he persuaded respected college football teams into agreeing to be filmed for a season. After A Season With, Sciavicco delved into the realm of basketball through his next project, Inside the Madness for Facebook Watch. The project followed the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team and premiered in 2018.

Titletown High is Sciavicco’s project recently released on Netflix. The series follows the Valdosta High School football team in Georgia, and showcases the uncensored drama and struggles of being a young athlete filled with dreams who must also learn to handle their relationships and their academics. The show also includes appearances from former head coach Rush Propst (who also previously appeared on Two-A-Days) before his recent controversial removal as head coach of the Valdosta football team.

Sciavicco’s success all comes down to his ability to entertain and tell stories. He includes the raw drama in a manner that keeps an audience entertained without sensationalizing any events. He gains both the trust of his characters to deliver their story through a humanizing lens and his audience to remain credible. Sciavicco’s ability to do so is what distinguishes him from other sports documentary producers. Nothing is scripted, and there are no redos and retakes; what Sciavicco and his team capture are the true raw moments in sports and reality.

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