HBO's series Hard Knocks, which takes an all-access look at NFL teams during training camp, is entering its eighth season and will feature the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were previously featured on the show in 2009.
"We are delighted that Hard Knocks will be returning this summer and excited for our return to the AFC [North] and the Cincinnati Bengals franchise," Ken Hershman, president of HBO Sports, said in a statement released Monday. "With playoff appearances three of the past four seasons, the Bengals have built a terrific young team and we are extremely grateful to both Coach Marvin Lewis and the entire organization for agreeing to participate. The series has become captivating television with appeal far beyond the hardcore football fan. Hard Knocks is a cornerstone franchise at HBO Sports."
When the Bengals appeared on the show in 2009, Hard Knocks drew its best-ever ratings, so the network decided to go with a proven winner in 2013. No team agreed to give HBO's cameras an inside view in 2011, but last season Hard Knocks featured the Miami Dolphins, and the series captured the team's release of wide receiver Chad Johnson.
"The feedback we got from our experience with Hard Knocks in 2009 was outstanding," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "Our fans enjoyed it tremendously and we're happy to try and provide that same experience again. Our fans love the NFL and they enjoy seeing things they don't normally get to see. We have some outstanding men, both as players and as people. They've got great charisma to go along with their football skills, and the Hard Knocks treatment allows for both to shine through."
The five-episode season will begin on Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. ET. New hour-long episodes will air on Tuesdays exclusively on HBO.