LAWRENCE — Les Miles’ venture into Hollywood proved the at times aspiring actor is comfortable in front of the camera.
Just how at ease the first-year Kansas football head coach is with film crews in his own world, however, will be revealed in just over a week.
Miles appeared on ESPN program “Get Up!” on Wednesday morning to reveal that the behind-the-scenes series set to follow the Jayhawks’ first season under the national championship-winning coach will be called “Miles to Go,” with the first four episodes premiering Aug. 29 on subscription streaming service ESPN+ through the Big 12 Now platform. Announced in July, the 18-part series will begin with Miles’ hiring last November and wrap with the conclusion of his first season.
The show, produced by JM Associates and Sports & Story, is slated for an average run time of 25-30 minutes across each of the four preseason episodes and 15-20 minute offerings in season.
"I'm not a guy that just has to worry about where the camera is, but I find myself many times telling them, 'Hey listen: Restroom is off limits. There's some things I need to do that you don't need to be involved in,' " Miles joked. "But I certainly have enjoyed that crew. They're a fun group."
KU opens its season at 11 a.m. Aug. 31 against Indiana State at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Miles, who dipped his toes into the acting realm during his two-plus-year hiatus from college football with supporting roles in projects “The Challenger Disaster” and “The Last Whistle,” has indicated that adjusting to the documentary-styled series has been a different type of challenge.
“I have never invited anybody in our team room except people that had vested interests — families, our academic people, certainly the assistant coaches — because it is a private place,” Miles said Tuesday at a weekly news conference. “It is where we say, ‘You weren’t good enough today and we need you to be good enough for us to win.’ It’s a place where honesty is (forthright). I like us. I like that feel.”
Nevertheless, Miles acknowledged positives in providing a window into Year 1 of the attempted rebuild — for starters, as the first original program on the debuting Big 12 Now platform, the amount of eyes on the program should be higher than at any point in what’s been a decade of futility.
“Now, another group comes in with the camera, and I think that is, to a point, exactly what you want,” Miles continued. “You want to show your players. You want them to see the style of men that you’re developing, that we’re developing as a university, and certainly as a team.”
KU will certainly have its say in crafting that narrative — an ESPN representative confirmed last month that the university will retain “some editorial control” over the project, a luxury Miles said he has already exercised. It’s unknown whether the series will address controversial off-the-field incidents, such as the December arrest and subsequent seven-month suspension of star running back Pooka Williams, who will miss KU’s season opener.
“I don’t know that I’ll have them in (everything),” Miles said. “Sometimes it’s private. Sometimes it’s about as private as getting out of your bed, right? I’ll probably tell them ‘no’ some. I already have. But they’ve got a lot of ‘yeses’ too.”