Comedian and actor Joel McHale will host this year’s Sportsperson of the Year event, which will be broadcast on television for the first time this year. The show will take place on Dec. 5 and will be televised on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 8, and on Univision Deportes at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 9.
McHale is best known for his starring role on the hit comedy series “Community,” which ended its sixth season on Yahoo! after five seasons on NBC. For 12 seasons, he hosted E!’s “The Soup,” which satirized pop culture and current events. More recently, he starred in CBS’s “The Great Indoors” and was seen in FOX’s revival of “The X-Files.” He has also acted in numerous feature films including Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” and Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant.” Upcoming projects for McHale include STX’s “The Happytime Murders” and Netflix’s “A Futile & Stupid Gesture.”
In addition to the Sportsperson of the Year, Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, SI Kids SportsKid of the Year, and Rising Star, two new categories make their debut this year: Performer of the Year and the Hope Award, the latter of which honors athletes who continue to give back to their home communities as they find success across the globe.
The telecast is being produced by Time Inc. Productions, the company’s television production division, which has tapped JASH, a Group Nine company, to co-produce. Highly regarded producers Robert Morton and Daniel Kellison will serve as executive producers. Executive producers from Time Inc. are Steve Cannella, Ian Orefice and Josh Oshinsky.
NBCSN will air an encore presentation of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year celebration on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. ET and Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Presented annually since 1954, the SI Sportsperson of the Year award is bestowed upon the athlete, team or coach who transcended the year in sports by achieving the highest level of athletic excellence while demonstrating the ideals of sportsmanship. The 2016 selection, Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, was honored at the Sportsperson event last December, which was also attended by Ali Legacy recipients Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell, as well as Michael Phelps, who was honored for his five gold medals at the the '16 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Comedian, actor and writer J.B. Smoove, best known for his role in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and roles in movies such as "Pootie Tang" and "Mr. Deeds," hosted last year's event.