Oprah Producing Docu-Series on the Life of Michael Sam


Oprah Winfrey's OWN network today announced a multi-part documentary series on the life of gay St. Louis Rams player Michael Sam. OWN is partnering with Emmy-winning producer Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Amy Rice for "The Untitled Michael Sam Project” (working title) which spotlights the former University of Missouri football player and his historic journey as he prepares to enter the biggest professional sports league in America, according to a press release:

This special documentary series will feature a deeply personal, up-close look at the remarkable man at the center of this groundbreaking moment in professional sports, as the All-American defensive end and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year enters the competitive world of professional football.  Cameras will follow Sam as he works to earn his spot on the St. Louis Rams all while under the intense scrutiny of being the first openly gay player in the NFL.

OprahSaid Oprah: “We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it foreve. I am proud of the focus on authentic storytelling in our new documentary series format.  The next real-life story we follow in ‘The Untitled Michael Sam Project’ promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today.  Acceptance and illumination start here."

Sam added: "Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability. I am determined. And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great.  I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together."

 “The Untitled Michael Sam Project” is produced with OWN by Pilgrim Studios and is executive produced by Craig Piligian, Nicholas Caprio and Johnny Gould.  Amy Rice, Ralph Wikke and Mitch Rosa are co-executive producers.  Cameron Weiss, Joe Barkett and Howard Bragman are producers.


  1. terry says

    will everyone just leave him alone. Equality is not being known for solely for your sexuality. I’m sure he’d like to be a football player and not as some sideshow.

  2. Brian W. says

    I see his publicist Howard Bragman is listed as a producer on the series. He won’t be making millions anytime soon so these side deals are great for Sam.

    I’ll be watching.

  3. SpaceCadet says

    Bravo, Oprah. Now here is a worthy subject of a TV documentary. More so than the attempted comeback of Lindsay Lohan.

  4. Arrow says

    Go away Oprah! If Sam is such a show off… The kiss was one thing, if he’s doing reality, I want to see more than the whole nine…yards. Maybe he and his boyfriend will get a Vogue cover. That’s if they stay together. Never underestimate Lance Black on the rebound.

  5. Troy says

    And the Sam Circus gets the mothalode of all Ringmasters: bigmouth Oprah. Sam gets a condo and his and his v.w. Beetles.
    Next up the Sam and Vito adult toy chest a la QVC!! Yay!!

  6. Mike says

    How will arriving at player camp with a personal film crew go over with his teammates I wonder. I think this guy is being over managed and over directed to the point of ridiculousness for other people’s financial benefit. He at one time said he just wants to practice and make the team.

  7. Arrow says

    On a more important note. Tomorrow is “Mr.T’s” birthday, and I’m not talking about the one who’s lap Nancy Reagan sat on. Use your imagination and you might get it.

  8. Jake says

    Reality TV has now hit the NFL. Pretty sure the coaches will not be happy seeing all the cameras. The circus continues.

  9. petey says

    Oprah needs to be told by the NFL to GTFO. Michael Sam’s manager might end up destroying Michael Sam’s career.

  10. Frank says

    Ugh, apparently Oprah forgot to sign some your ya’ll yearbooks, beacuse I can’t think of a reason she would deserve to receive she would deserve all this negativity from the gays of towleroad.

  11. Frank says

    Ugh, apparently Oprah forgot to sign some your ya’lls yearbooks, beacuse I can’t think of a reason why she would deserve to receive all this negativity from the gays of towleroad.

  12. Rowan says

    I agree. Bragman too but I wonder if he feels his chances are so slim that he is letting this sh*t happen? He can’t be THAT naive this isn’t THEIR agenda and not his…

    In what universe will the players etc not get p*ssed off to have GD camera’s in their faces when they are trying to make the team to the most important decision in their life!

    On the flip side, I do suspect that the over religous/zealous/capitalistic NFL is not as open as they pretend to be and as much as people want to pick on Mike for being sooo bad, there were so many worse then he was and his place kept on lowering. It’s like we forgot he went down 100 places after he came out. Plus the Dallas Cowboys drafted a guy who is a lot worse then Mike…I could go on..

    He may be using them as protection.

    LGBT people in America really need to do more to be more visible. That Slate article was on point.

  13. Lu says

    …and the Benham twins are bouncing off the walls with anger. ( They haven’t signed a deal yet that I’ve heard of. I guess they’re not praying hard enough. Or, maybe God needs a new hearing aid battery.)

  14. MIke says

    TMZ is quite snarky with this news now, stating that the cameras in the room when “the phone call” came were all Oprah’s film crew and that it pretty much was a scripted and choreographed scene. I think he had the public with “I just want to play well on the field and prove myself” and expect the backlash to grow bigger now.

    A&M’s “Johnny Football” was a first round choice and isn’t he headed to Cleveland or something? I would expect the same backlash for him to show up with a film crew for his reality show he’s doing and “you all get to be in it!”

  15. Marcus says

    Maybe the show can feature cutaway interviews with the anti-gay pastors Oprah has featured as life coaches on her network.

  16. keating says

    Love love love Michael Sam.

    But trust me: this is all going to end in the wrong kind of tears. (Which is exactly what Oprah wants, of course.)

  17. Gary says

    Oprah, like many gays, strive to dominate their personally desired image before the public. She unfortunately, is in a position to do this. Maybe that might explain Gayle King’s Anna Wintour haircut.