Series DVD Cover
|Created by||Robert Wuhl|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||80 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Tollin/Robbins Productions|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution (2008-present, non-USA)|
|Original network||Home Box Office|
|Original release||August 10, 1996 – September 8, 2002|
- Arliss starred Robert Wuhl, who also produced the show, as Arliss Michaels, the president of a sports agency who tries to cater to his clients' every need as best he can
- Sandra Oh plays Rita Wu, Arliss's personal assistant
- Jim Turner plays Kirby Carlisle, a middle-aged, ex-football star
- Michael Boatman plays Stanley Babson, a conservative financial advisor
Notable guest stars
Nearly every episode includes one or more notable personalities, primarily from the sports industry (such as athletes, coaches, and broadcasters), appearing as themselves. Oscar-winning actor James Coburn's 2002 appearance in the episode "The Immortal" was his last television performance before his fatal heart attack in 2002.
- John Reilly (1996–2002)
- Bob Costas (1996–2001)
- Van Earl Wright (1997–2002)
- Jerry Jones (1996–2000)
- Jim Lampley (1996–1999)
- Tommy Lasorda (1996–2000)
- Jeremy Roenick (2000–2002)
- Jamal Anderson (1999, 2000)
- Bob Arum (1997, 1999)
- Chris Berman (1997, 1999)
- Al Bernstein (1996, 1999)
- Barry Bonds (1996, 1997)
- Gary Carter (2001)
- Roger Clemens (1997, 1999)
- Norm Crosby (1997, 2001)
- Oscar de la Hoya (1998, 1999)
- Marshall Faulk (2000, 2001)
- Ken Griffey, Jr. (1999)
- Jim Hill (1996, 1999)
- Roy Jones Jr. (2000, 2002)
- Eric Karros (1997, 1999)
- Larry King (1997, 2002)
- Jeanette Lee (1997, 2000)
- Al Michaels (1996, 1998)
- Gary Miller (2000, 2001)
- Jon Miller (1997, 2000)
- Chris Myers (1996, 1999)
- Pat O'Brien (2000, 2001)
- Shaquille O'Neal (1996, 2001)
- Andre Rison (1998)
- Curt Schilling (1998, 2002)
- Stuart Scott (1999, 2000)
- Robert Shapiro (1996, 2000)
- Bruce Smith (1997, 2000)
- Ozzie Smith (1997, 1998)
- George M. Steinbrenner III (1999)
- Katarina Witt (1997, 1998)
- Dave Winfield (1998, 2000)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||11||August 10, 1996||October 16, 1996|
|2||10||June 17, 1997||August 19, 1997|
|3||13||June 7, 1998||August 30, 1998|
|4||12||June 6, 1999||August 22, 1999|
|5||13||June 4, 2000||September 3, 2000|
|6||10||June 10, 2001||August 12, 2001|
|7||11||June 16, 2002||September 8, 2002|
Arliss on other programs
In July 1999, Wuhl also appeared on World Championship Wrestling's Monday Nitro as a guest announcer. Joining Scott Hudson and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Robert did not appear as himself but was named as Arliss and acted in character. He announced that "the WCW" (sic) would appear on Arliss because none of the Big Three networks would have WCW. Arliss stayed in character on color commentary as Randy Savage, Gorgeous George, and Miss Madness walked to the ring. Arliss said he was scouting Dennis Rodman, who was doing his third stint with the company. Wuhl appeared for cross-promotion as WCW was owned by Time Warner (and Nitro aired on TNT), as was HBO. In the Arliss episode entitled "To Thy Own Self Be True", WCW creative head Eric Bischoff guest stars along with wrestlers Lex Luger, Randy Savage and Gorgeous George.
On the 10th of February 2002. The 10th episode of the 13th Season of The Simpsons titled Half-Decent Proposal Marge, Patty and Selma are watching TV When the TV announcer says "Coming up next on BHO, it's ARLI$$!" and They all scream "AAAH!" in unison and all reach for remote.
In the October 4, 2012 episode of 30 Rock, "The Beginning of the End," Kenneth says, in response to Tracy Jordan's marriage having lasted for over 20 years, "That's half as long as it felt Arliss was on TV!"
The show, which ran for seven seasons, is a prime example of how HBO differs from traditional networks due to its nature as a network its viewers specifically pay to be able to watch. Arliss was cited by so many viewers as the sole reason that they paid for the network that its relatively small fan base was able to keep the show on the air for a lengthy run. Entertainment Weekly consistently referred to it as one of the worst shows on television. The show frequently used obscure sports references, making the humor something only die-hard sports fans could appreciate. Bill Simmons, then of ESPN.com repeatedly wrote about how awful he felt the show was, often holding it up as an "Exhibit A" in what he saw as the terrible state of sports-based fictional television shows. Simmons also noted that HBO was forced to reschedule the show because it wasn't able to hold enough viewers before Six Feet Under. Simmons' viewpoint notwithstanding, ESPN later acquired the rights to air content-edited reruns of Arli$$ for several years on ESPN Classic.
- "Mike Armstrong (Character) - Filmography by TV series". imdb.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Arli$$ on Nitro: Maybe If He Had Played Alexander Knox…". wrestlecrap.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Saturday Night Live. Season 28. Episode 2. Saturday Night Live Transcripts. 12 October 2002. NBC.
- "TV 101: They're Not TV Numbers. They're HBO Numbers. - Tuned In - TV Blog - Television Reviews - James Poniewozik - TIME". TIME. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
- "EW's Ken Tucker names 2002's 5 worst TV shows – Arli$ – Television Commentary – TV – Entertainment Weekly". Archived from the original on October 12, 2006.
- "ESPN.com: Page 2: Dear Sports Guy...". ESPN. Retrieved 12 October 2016.