Michael Davies (television producer)

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Michael Davies
Born 1966 (age 48–49)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Other names Davo, Michael "Positive" Davies[1]
Occupation Television producer, Man in Blazer[1]
Known for Men in Blazers
Home town Blackheath, United Kingdom[2]

Michael Davies (born 1966), also known as Davo (DAY-voh), is a British producer of television game shows based in the United States.[3] As president and CEO of Embassy Row, a New York-based television production company that is a unit of Sony Pictures Television, he is best known as the executive producer of Wife Swap (U.S. TV series). He also produced ESPN's 2 Minute Drill, VH1's World Series of Pop Culture, CBS's Power of 10, and the GSN originals: Chain Reaction, Grand Slam, and GSN's remake of The Newlywed Game as well as the U.S. version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He created Lifetime's Debt, and Comedy Central's Win Ben Stein's Money.[4]

He also wrote a blog about the 2006 FIFA World Cup for ESPN.com.[5] He and Roger Bennett (journalist) form the duo Men in Blazers, who produce podcasts, blogs and a television show about soccer on NBCSN.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in London in 1966, Davies grew up in Blackheath[2] and attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, graduating from the University of Edinburgh. Davies is the younger brother of the opera singer Rebecca de Pont Davies and screenwriter William Davies.


Beginning in 2011, Davies and co-host and ESPNFC.com writer Roger Bennett, brought the Men in Blazers podcast to Grantland.com, a website owned by ESPN covering sports and pop culture. The weekly podcast includes analysis of recent matches in the Premier League as well as coverage of the UEFA Champions League and various international fixtures, specifically the United States men's national soccer team games. Frequent topics of discussion are Bennett's beloved Everton F.C., Davies' Chelsea F.C., the growth of soccer in the United States, and commentator Ian Darke. The analysis is sprinkled with offbeat, quirky similes, World War I poetry, and a steadfast belief that "soccer has been America's sport of the future since 1972".

The two have built up a small but passionate cult like following in the United States whom the two call "GFOPs" or Great Friend of the Pod. GFOPs created a wikispace for the podcast to help new listeners understand inside jokes and track the history of certain references.[6] On the podcast, Davies is also called "Davo" or "Positive" by co-host Bennett, who is sometimes referred to, lovingly, as Toilet. Davies and Bennett refer to the United States men's national soccer team as The Von Trapps.[7] The pair have coined a number of phrases such as adopting the hockey term "shass" to refer to a shot that is so poor it turns into a pass. The most notorious "shassmasters" in the Premier League are Gervinho (at the time, part of Arsenal F.C.) and Liverpool F.C.'s Daniel Sturridge.

The duo then were invited to provide analysis and humorous segments for ESPN live from Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, especially from Bob Ley's "Panic Room", and became a phenomenon as Team USA and the World Cup went over exceptionally well with American audiences.[8] They also got to do a live show from Portland for the 2014 MLS All-Star Game, interviewing the likes of Clint Dempsey and Alex Morgan while raising money for MLS Works and the Wounded Warrior Project.[9] In September 2014, they also conducted a New York City FC exclusive interview with Frank Lampard - Davies' favorite Chelsea player of all time - after Lampard joined NYCFC from Chelsea.[10]

Fox Sports announced that they cancelled the Davies-produced program Crowd Goes Wild, a daily sports talk show from the national sports network Fox Sports 1, which featured Regis Philbin, in April 2014.[11]

Ahead of the 2014-2015 Premier League season, NBC Sports signed Davies and Bennett from ESPN for its English Premier League coverage and has confirmed that Men in Blazers will have its own half-hour television show on Monday nights at 10pm EST, starting September 22nd, 2014. [12] [13]

Davies and Bennett also host the Men in Blazers channel on EA Sports Talk Radio on the official 2014 FIFA World Cup video game, with Andy Goldstein of TalkSPORT and Darke hosting the only other channel. If users tune into their station, they comment on the user-controlled teams' progress and, following a usual tradition, answer e-mails "by raven" (a Game of Thrones reference.) [14]

Personal life[edit]

Davies lives in New York City. Davies is also an avid fan of Chelsea F.C. as well as the term "pants", which he employed a great deal in his FIFA World Cup 2006 coverage.


External links[edit]