HBO confirmed the news on Monday, June 17:
Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Joe Reedy first reported the news Friday night:
An official announcement of the #bengals being this season's team on Hard Knocks is likely to happen next week. Two weeks at the latest— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) June 15, 2013
The highly popular HBO series will enter its eighth season this year. By being the focus of the coming season, the Bengals will become just the second team to be the subject of the show twice. The Dallas Cowboys were featured in 2002 and 2008.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis should be familiar with the show, as this will be his third appearance. He was the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens when they were featured on the series' debut season in 2001.
It is interesting that the Bengals would agree to be featured. In a 2012 interview with ESPN 101 via SportsRadioInterviews.com, Lewis responded to the question of the Bengals being on the show again by saying that they had already "done our time for the NFL right now."
Apparently he felt that they owe more time now.
Were the Bengals a good choice for Hard Knocks?
When pressed on whether or not his team would ever be back on the show, he left the door open, citing the opportunity to create buzz.
I think it’s a great thing for your fans and I think they get a great perspective behind the scenes, they really get a look at your football team and if we were doing this right now we’d be sitting there and the camera would be on us right now as I’m making this call so it’s really a 24-7 deal. No matter what you do there’s a camera there.
Lewis might be looking for an added boost to take the Bengals to the next level. The 2009 appearance turned out to be a good omen for them. They went to the playoffs for the first time since 2005, improving from 4-11-1 to 10-6.
Now his team is stuck in a slightly different rut. They've made it to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, but lost to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card Round both times.
Perhaps the reality documentary series will once again push the team to new heights.