Eastbound & Down

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Eastbound & Down
Promotional poster
GenreSports comedy
Created by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes29 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerStephanie Laing
Running time30 minutes[1]
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseFebruary 15, 2009 (2009-02-15) –
November 17, 2013 (2013-11-17)

Eastbound & Down is an American sports comedy television series that was broadcast on HBO, and created by Ben Best, Jody Hill and Danny McBride.[2] It stars McBride as Kenny Powers, a former professional baseball pitcher who, after a career downturn in the major leagues, is forced to return to his hometown middle school in Shelby, North Carolina, as a substitute physical education teacher.[3]

Producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay received an order for six episodes for the first season from HBO.[4] The series was produced by Ferrell's production company, Gary Sanchez Productions. The show premiered February 15, 2009.[5] Its second season, consisting of seven episodes, began on September 26, 2010. On October 27, HBO announced it was renewing the show for a third season.[6] At PaleyFest 2011, it was announced that the third season, which premiered on February 19, 2012, would be the last.[7] In July 2012, HBO picked up the comedy series for a fourth season of eight episodes.[8]

On June 6, 2013, HBO announced that the fourth season would be the show's last. The fourth season premiered on September 29, 2013, and ended its run on November 17, 2013.[9]


Years after he turned his back on his hometown, a burned-out major league ballplayer who "forced himself into retirement by the depths of his own jerkiness"[10] returns to teach physical education at his old middle school. Still trying to reclaim his fame he starts on a comeback—righting his previous wrongs along the way—only to unwittingly sabotage his own efforts.

While not based on the life of former Major League Baseball relief pitcher John Rocker, the show's creators do cite Rocker's attitude as an inspiration.[11] Former major league pitcher Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams has often been cited as the inspiration for the Powers character,[12] though Williams himself has disavowed any connection. Explaining the tone of the show, McBride has stated that he and his fellow co-creators had intended to "make fun of a South where you could learn an ancient martial art like Tae Kwon Do in a shopping center next to a tanning salon.”[13]


Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 6 February 15, 2009 March 22, 2009
2 7 September 26, 2010 November 7, 2010
3 8 February 19, 2012 April 15, 2012
4 8 September 29, 2013 November 17, 2013


Production on the second season of the show began in May 2010. The setting moved to Mexico, with shooting actually occurring in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. The new season brought several changes to the cast, including new faces Michael Peña and Ana de la Reguera, who play the owner of a Mexican baseball team and Kenny's new love interest, respectively. Don Johnson appeared in the role of Kenny's father, whom Kenny and Stevie managed to track down in Mexico. All of the supporting cast from the first season are absent or only make cameo appearances, with the only exception being Steve Little as Stevie Janowski, who follows Kenny to Mexico. Ben Best is not a writer for Season 2 but returns in a small role as Clegg.[16] Adam Scott returns in two episodes as the now cocaine-free baseball executive Pat Anderson.

Actor Deep Roy joined the cast as Aaron, one of Kenny's new Mexican sidekicks.[17] The Mexican baseball team owned by Peña's character Sebastian Cisneros, the Charros, is coached by Roger Hernandez, played by actor Marco Rodriguez. Co-director Jody Hill described the season as "a cross between the films Amores perros and The Bad News Bears". Hill directed four episodes in season two, while David Gordon Green directed three.[18]

Season 2 premiered on September 26, 2010.[19] Vice magazine reported on August 31, 2010 that "it's worthy of the original and is its own different, more somber beast."[18] The writers had considered setting the second season in America; according to McBride, "at one point, we considered opening on a shot of the big sombrero at South of the Border, so you think Kenny’s in Mexico. And then he would have said [voice-over tone], ‘I went down to the butthole of the Carolinas.’ [laughs] We actually thought about setting the entire season in Myrtle Beach instead of in Mexico. I gotta say, the Myrtle Beach idea was pretty brilliant. It would have really been something. Maybe he ends up there next season. [beat] Who knows?"[20]

Season 3 saw Jason Sudeikis join the cast,[21] and the returns of Matthew McConaughey as Texas scout Roy McDaniel, and Will Ferrell who reprised his role as car salesman Ashley Schaeffer.[22] Ike Barinholtz also joined the cast as Ivan, a Russian pitcher who serves as Kenny's competition.[23] The show was filmed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at TicketReturn.com Field and features Kenny as a member of a minor league baseball team called Myrtle Beach Mermen.[24]


Eastbound & Down was met with positive reviews during its run. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of the show has a rating of 60%, based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "Eastbound & Down might be too profane and obnoxious for some, but its broad humor and irreverent vibe make for some great comic moments."[25] Metacritic gave season 1 a "generally favorable" average score of 62 out of 100, based 16 critics,[26] and seasons 2 and 3 scores of 89[27] and 83 out of 100,[28] respectively, both indicating "universal acclaim". The fourth and final season of the show holds a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 critics.[29]

International syndication[edit]

HBO has syndicated Eastbound & Down to many international markets.

Country Broadcasters Time slot Premiere date
Australia showcase/7mate 19:30 2009-10-27
Brazil HBO 2 20:05 2012-03-13
Canada HBO Canada/The Score/FXX 22:30 (HBO) 2009-02-15
Finland YLE 00:20 2011-06-05
Germany Sky Atlantic HD 21:30 2013 August
Mexico MaxPrime 22:30 2009-11-17
Netherlands Comedy Central 22:30 2010-04-30
New Zealand Comedy Central 21:30 2009-10-27
Norway NRK 22:25 2010-09-15
Portugal MTV Portugal 23:00 2009-07-09
Romania HBO Romania 23:00 2010-05-29
Sweden C More 20:00 2009-08-11
Turkey CNBC-e 23:00 2011-06-20
United Kingdom & Ireland Fox 22:00 2009-10-01


  1. ^ Lowry, Brian (February 11, 2020). "Eastbound & Down". Variety. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  2. ^ "Eastbound & Down - Cast and Crew". TV Guide. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  3. ^ "New HBO TV series 'Eastbound and Down' unites old friends". StarNewsOnline.com. October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  4. ^ "Talk: Home". HBO. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  5. ^ [1]HBO – February 2, 2009.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (27 October 2010). "HBO Renews Series 'Bored to Death' And 'Eastbound & Down' –". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  7. ^ Wright, Adam (March 11, 2011). "'Eastbound And Down' to End After Third Season". Tvdonewright.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  8. ^ Levine, Stuart (July 2, 2012). "HBO asks for more 'Eastbound & Down'". Variety. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  9. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (June 6, 2013). "'Eastbound & Down' Canceled by HBO; Production on Fourth and Final Season Begins". TV By The Numbers. Archived from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "Eastbound and Down, A Pitcher's Life After the Third Strike". The New York Times. February 12, 2009. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  11. ^ All Things Considered (February 15, 2009). "HBO Debuts 'Eastbound And Down'". NPR. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  12. ^ "5 Real-Life Players Who Inspired 'Eastbound & Down'". Complex.
  13. ^ Friend, T. (June 5, 2017). "Danny McBride's Horror Show". New Yorker. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Chapter 21". Eastbound & Down. Season 3. Episode 8. April 15, 2012. Event occurs at 10:19. Home Box Office. Steven Bernard Janowski, you are hereby relieved of your duties as my assistant.
  15. ^ "Sylvia Jefferies". IMDb.
  16. ^ "BRING IT ON HOME – The Southern Boys Behind Eastbound & Down Send Kenny Powers' Ass to Mexico – Vice Magazine". Viceland.com. August 28, 2007. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  17. ^ "EB&D IN PR – Viceland Today". Viceland.com. June 21, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-09-07. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Eastbound & Down Season Dos Is Almost Here – Viceland Today". Viceland.com. August 31, 2010. Archived from the original on September 6, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  19. ^ "Eastbound and Down Season Two is F*cking In". Tv.gawker.com. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  20. ^ "BRING IT ON HOME – The Southern Boys Behind Eastbound & Down Send Kenny Powers' Ass to Mexico – Vice Magazine". Viceland.com. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2010.
  21. ^ Sneider, Jeff; Levine, Stuart (July 7, 2011). "Sudeikis set for 'Eastbound & Down'". Variety.
  22. ^ Schillaci, Sophie A. (July 12, 2011). "Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell Return for 'Eastbound & Down' Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter.
  23. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (September 1, 2011). "'Eastbound & Down': 'Mad TV' Alum Takes the Mound (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  24. ^ "Myrtle Beach Mermen".
  25. ^ "Eastbound & Down: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.
  26. ^ "Eastbound & Down - Season 1 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. February 15, 2009. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  27. ^ "Eastbound & Down - Season 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  28. ^ "Eastbound & Down - Season 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  29. ^ "Eastbound & Down: Season 4 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.

External links[edit]