The Franchise



Baseball reality celebrates sports heroes; strong language.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series underscores the hard work and commitment that goes into being a major league player. It also highlights some of the perks of being part of a major league franchise. Occasional controversies sparked by some players' comments/behaviors are also discussed.

Positive role models

While there are is some rivalry between the players, all the players are committed to the team. They work hard at what they do and aim to please their fans.


Work out sessions are often grueling, and feature players crying out in pain. Occasional episodes discuss violent fan-related incidents.


Players are often visible shirtless and in their underwear during training sessions and in locker rooms. One episode features images of a sadomasochist character called "The Machine." A scene of a World Series celebration features a player pulling a thong out of his pants. Female fans are sometimes visible in bikinis


Words like "pissed," "ass," "s--t," and "f--k" are used frequently.


The Major League Baseball logo, as well as the logos of the team franchise being featured, are visible everywhere. Product logos like Oracle, Toyota, Goya, and other companies are visible behind the pitcher's mound during game highlights.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigar smoking is visible. Cocktail and beer consumption. Athletes are shown pouring champagne and beer over each other during World Series celebrations. Some players share childhood stories about alcoholic parents.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this docuseries, which follows Major League baseball teams during spring training, contains lots of strong language ("piss," "s--t," "f--k"), occasional sexual references, and discussions of some serious themes, including a near-fatal assault on a fan and the suspension of a manager for inappropriate comments. Cigar smoking and alcohol consumption are also visible. Young baseball fans might be eager to watch, but parents may want to review beforehand.

What's the story?

THE FRANCHISE follows various major league baseball teams as they prepare for, and enter into, a new baseball season. Each show cycle features a single team, such as the San Francisco Giants and the Miami Marlins, as they condition themselves during spring training and play games during their regular baseball season. Veterans like Giants pitchers Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum and Marlins short stop Hanley Ramirez offer their thoughts about and reactions to the various challenges their teams face. Viewers also get to watch how up-and-coming players like Giants short stop Miguel Tejada, and new Marlins additions Carlos Zambrano and Heath Bell perform with their respective clubs. Team owners and managers, including controversial Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, are also featured.

Is it any good?


The Franchise charts the journeys of teams that are beginning a new baseball season following a championship win or after undergoing a major identity transformation. It shows how ball club members must condition themselves both mentally and physically to live up to the expectations of the franchise and their fans. It also highlights some of the challenges individual players face during this process, like losing weight or adjusting to playing a new position, all while being scrutinized by the media.

A few athletes play up to the cameras, but the overall series stays away from the contrived drama most reality shows are known for. However, controversies off the field, including the devastating assault of a Giants' fan and the fall-out from some controversial comments made by Marlins' manager Ozzie Guillen, are discussed in detail. Baseball fans will enjoy watching their favorite players, and will appreciate its unique and timely behind-the-scenes look into the world of major league baseball.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media creates celebrities out of athletes. Do you think this is based on players’ athletic abilities, or are their other factors that make them popular? Does their popularity make them role models?

  • Does this show serve as an advertisement for tmajor league baseball teams? Are you being influenced to buy something through this show? How do sports franchises make money?

TV details

Cast:Brian Wilson, Bruce Bochy, David Duchovny
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Sports and martial arts
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of The Franchise was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Adult Written byChina flower de... April 28, 2011

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Kid, 10 years old April 17, 2011
hate it worst show ever
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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