Creator/Host Laura Rutledge and Coordinating Producer Baron Miller take Front Row behind-the-scenes of their new show, airing at 7 p.m. ET tonight on SEC Network.
How did the idea for The Moment with Laura Rutledge come about?
Rutledge: I’m always trying to think of new show ideas, and I talk myself out of a lot of them because I see holes in them before I even pitch them. The idea for The Moment was born out of thinking about viral videos on social media and how to bring some good to the world. People love surprises, so I thought, “How can we surprise SEC fans who give so much of themselves to support their teams?”
Miller: Laura and I are always pitching ideas to each other, and earlier this year, Laura came to me with this one, which we both thought had real potential. The idea was to showcase a fan of an SEC school that has a unique story, while giving them an all-access pass and some moments they wouldn’t forget.
What was the hardest part of putting this show together?
Rutledge: At first, the hardest part was picking a story. When we asked for fans to submit the biggest fan they knew for this, we had no idea how many responses we would get. I’ll never forget the day when the hundreds of responses started flooding in. As I responded to each email, I was so impressed by the variety of the stories and felt attached already to so many. Once we chose our two stories (hopefully more to come), I think the hardest part has been truly conveying how wonderful these people are. I want to do them justice and that responsibility is one I take very seriously.
Is there a funny story from behind the scenes or something memorable that happened when filming the first two episodes?
Rutledge: The funniest parts for me were filming the Alabama show while also doing sideline for the A Day spring game in April. I was running in and out of the stadium getting our shots for The Moment done outside and then doing my duties for the spring game inside. The security guards thought I was insane and game producer Josh Hoffman had a great line when I was finally officially mic’d up for the game just moments before interviewing Nick Saban live. He said, “Nice of you to join us,” and we were off and running!
Miller: The Alabama Spring game was a little dicey! It was pouring down rain, and there we were during the tailgate, about 15 of us all crammed in this little tent while the storm was going on. I was getting super nervous because we only had one chance to do this. Meanwhile, our producer Jonathan Whyley wasn’t nervous at all. He kept telling me, “It’s going to stop at 1:15.” Sure enough, at almost 1:15 on the dot, rain stopped, sun came out and the shoot went great.
If you were to have The Moment with someone, who would it be?
Rutledge: Wow! There are so many in the sports world that I would love to spend a day with getting access to experiences I wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy: Brett Favre, Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker and Simone Biles would top my list. Outside of sports, I would love to have The Moment with James Taylor. He’s my favorite musician and I’m fascinated by his songwriting ability.
What’s one thing you want viewers to take away from watching The Moment?
Rutledge: I hope viewers know that we really care about them. I wish I could give every single fan their own moment. Since that isn’t possible, this is the next best thing. Storytelling is at the heart of what we do and I believe everyone has a story. It’s been a true joy to learn the stories of so many fans and I hope to share many more of them with you all.