Netflix Greenlights ‘Receiver’ Docuseries, Focusing on NFL Pass-Catchers on Netflix: Release Date & Details


flat screen television displaying Netflix logo
Photo by Thibault Penin

Having proven there is a market for sports-related reality programming and docuseries, Netflix continues to create content that is aligned with viewer interests. The 2023 premier of the sports docuseries “Quarterback” chronicled the lives of three NFL quarterbacks throughout the 2022-23 season. Now, in its footsteps, the streaming platform has developed another football-focused series: “Receiver.”

“Receiver” is set to follow a group of the NFL’s most talented wide receivers and tight ends including Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders, Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers, and Amon-ra St. Brown of the Detroit Lions. The eight-part series will provide an in-depth look at their lives during the 2023 NFL season.

Making the Move from ‘Quarterback’ to ‘Receiver’

“Receiver” is another production resulting from the collaboration between Netflix, NFL Films, Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, and Patrick Mahomes’ 2PM Productions. The success of “Quarterback,” which garnered 21.4 million view hours in its first week and became the most-streamed show on the platform, paved the way for subsequent docuseries focused on pro sports athletes. Making the transition from quarterback to receiver, yet another dynamic position on a high-energy, high-stakes field, seemed instinctive to everyone involved.

Gabe Spitzer, VP of Nonfiction Sports at Netflix, commented on the natural progression from the “Quarterback” series, stating, “The natural progression is from a pass to a catch, so we’re excited to dive into the Receiver world after the success of our Quarterback series. NFL Films and Omaha Productions have delivered again in finding unique and dynamic athletes who will further highlight the drama of this sport on and off the field.”

While viewers clearly had an interest in the lives and behind-the-scenes look at how premier quarterbacks navigated the ups and downs of an NFL season, the “Quarterback” series production team struggled to find additional personalities willing to participate. While the series provided a stage for promoting both their team and personal brand, filming time requirements and the demands of their jobs made it difficult for many quarterbacks to join.

As a result, Omaha Productions and NFL Films shifted their focus to other positions on the field, widening the talent pool and expanding the number of stories available. The final scope of the show included a mix of both wide receivers and tight ends, both of which are ultimately tasked with catching the ball to make big plays during games. “Receiver” presented an opportunity to showcase the personalities and moments that define the position critical to the quarterback’s, and the team’s, overall success.

The Rise of Sports-Centric Storytelling and Entertainment

Joe Zucco, Supervising Producer at NFL Films, expressed excitement about the new series, saying, “We were thrilled last summer to see audiences all over the world diving into the lives of NFL quarterbacks. We believe the extraordinary skills, dedication, and passion of the NFL’s great wide receivers – and one tight end – will make a perfect follow-up.”

Peyton Manning, who serves as an executive producer through his Omaha Productions company, shared his enthusiasm for “Receiver,” stating, “We are excited to be working again with Netflix and NFL Films to give fans unprecedented access to what it’s like to play receiver at the highest level. As we did with Quarterback, we look forward to telling the stories of five incredible receivers, each with their unique personality, skillset, and motivation for what drives them to be the best.”

Jamie Horowitz, co-founder of Omaha Productions and a renowned sports media executive, has significantly shaped the company’s content since its inception in 2020. Known for his innovative approach to sports programming, Horowitz has been instrumental in the rise of numerous sports personalities and creating popular debate-style shows that dominate sports media.

Under Horowitz’s leadership, Omaha Productions has produced a diverse range of successful projects from the Emmy award-winning “ManningCast” to the critically acclaimed “Quarterback” series. The company’s collaboration with NFL Films and Netflix has allowed them to create unique, personality-driven content that resonates with younger audiences and provides unfiltered access to athletes’ lives.

“Receiver” is set to continue this trend, offering fans an intimate look at the lives of some of the NFL’s most dynamic pass-catchers. Balancing a mix of personal and professional stories across a wide variety of personalities, the series promises to provide viewers with an inside look at some of the most popular figures in the NFL both on and off the field.  

Taking Sports Programming to a New Level

The 2023 season was particularly eventful for the San Francisco 49ers. The team earned their way to the Super Bowl before ultimately falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the sport’s penultimate game. George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, both featured players in the first season of “Receiver”, played significant roles in the 49ers’ success and dramatic storyline.

“Receiver” has made it clear that Netflix and its partners are committed to pushing the boundaries of sports documentaries. The success of “Quarterback” and the anticipation surrounding “Receiver” demonstrate the growing appetite for authentic, behind-the-scenes content that go well beyond highlights and box scores.

The involvement of Peyton Manning and Patrick Mahomes, two of the most respected and influential figures in the NFL, adds an extra layer of credibility and star power to the project. Their firsthand knowledge of the quarterback position, the dynamics of the game, and the pressures that can be faced in balancing professional and personal pursuits will undoubtedly contribute to the series’ depth and authenticity. Notably, Mahomes featured as one of three of the superstar players followed in the inaugural season of “Quarterback,” giving him a unique perspective of what it is like to be on camera.

As the streaming wars continue to heat up, Netflix’s investment in sports content has spanned a variety of sports, from swimming to basketball and cycling. The streaming platform’s partnership with the NFL has uniquely positioned both organizations to continue to be significant players when it comes to sports documentaries.

“Receiver” is set to premiere on Netflix in the summer of 2024, giving fans plenty of time to speculate about the stories and revelations that will emerge. The 2023 NFL season was certainly one to remember, and  “Receiver” is poised to be another touchdown for Netflix and its partners in sports entertainment.

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