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HBO Bringing Bob Costas Back for Interview Show

Costas will conduct in-depth interviews with notable figures in sports, entertainment, and pop culture and conversations about the day’s sports topics.

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Bob Costas is returning to HBO as he begins the third interview show for the channel later this spring, The Hollywood Reporter reports. “Back on the Record With Bob Costas,” which is a nod to his old show with HBO “On the Record,” will air four times a year.

Costas will conduct in-depth interviews with notable figures in sports, entertainment, and pop culture and conversations about the day’s sports topics.

“HBO is synonymous with the highest quality of television programming,” said Costas. “And their sports programming has always been both innovative and thoughtful. For those reasons and more, I am very pleased to again be part of HBO.”

During his past stints with HBO, Costas’ has won seven Sports Emmy Awards for his work, including stuff he’s done for “On the Record from 2001-04.

“Bob has long been one of the most talented and versatile broadcasters in the world of sports and entertainment, and we are thrilled for his return to HBO,” Nina Rosenstein, Executive VP Programming at HBO, said.

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Stephen A. Smith Loves SNL’s ‘First Take’ Spoof: ‘This Is Hilarious’

“I haven’t laughed that hard about SNL in 20 years.”

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ESPN’s First Take was the subject of a recent Saturday Night Live skit and even though it didn’t make the final cut for broadcast on NBC, the sketch did circulate on social media Monday.

The sketch had hosts Stephen A. Smith and Michael Irvin debate whether Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was “exceptional or very exceptional” before transitioning to a debate about apples or oranges. Moderator Molly Qerim wasn’t spared either, as she made sure to remind viewers how much time was left in the show.

Stephen A. tweeted the skit out offering an initial reaction before reacting further in a short break on Monday’s show (via Mediaite).

Smith was portrayed by cast member Chris Redd and gave props to him and Kenan Thompson, who played Irvin. (Chloe Gardner played Qerim.) Stephen A. also suggested people check out Redd’s imitation of new New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“I haven’t laughed that hard about SNL in 20 years,” said Smith. “He did me well, but I’m telling y’all right now, that brother Chris Redd imitating the new mayor of New York Mayor Eric Adams, I promise y’all it’s must-see. Trust me on that.”

All in good fun and even though the skit didn’t make it to air, it was well-received online and by the First Take crew.

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Jim Nantz Believes Ryan Fitzpatrick Has Future In TV

“I’ve always said that is a guy that will be, if he wants to be, a great piece of television talent down the road.”

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Every network is usually out there looking to find the former athlete who can have success in a second career as a broadcaster or a TV analyst. For Jim Nantz, he believes there is one quarterback out there that, if he wants a job in the business, would be the perfect guy for it.

During an appearance on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Trainathe name that Nantz mentioned was Ryan Fitzpatrick. He said his favorite thing about Super Wild Card Weekend was seeing Fitzpatrick with fans at the game for Buffalo’s playoff win over New England:

“My favorite thing I saw all weekend was Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Nantz told Traina. “What he did was one of the great validations for us fans that these guys actually care. We always want them to be one of us and we know they are getting paid a lot of money to play these games and play for our team, but do they really care? What does it mean to them?

“His [Fitzpatrick’s] journey has taken him to a lot of stops around the league. There he is, sub-zero wind chill factor, shirtless, man of the people, sitting in the stands cheering full-throated lustily for the Bills. That felt good. The fan side of me loved it. I just thought it said so much about him.”

While Nantz isn’t sure what Fitzpatrick has planned for his future after football, he thinks whatever the Harvard alum with the notable beard wants to do, it will be great.

“I don’t know what his second act is going to be, but I am going to predict it’s going to be huge,” Nantz said.

“There’s something about him. I’ve gotten to know him virtually every stop along the way in his NFL career and maybe he’s not even finished playing, but he wasn’t doing that to try to generate attention. He probably didn’t know the guy who shot that was going to post it. That’s Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has always had a way with a sense of humor and a way with phrasing things.”

One of the qualities that Nantz likes about Fitzpatrick is how real of a person he is and he would vouch for him if somebody asked:

“I’ve always said that is a guy that will be, if he wants to be, a great piece of television talent down the road,” said Nantz. “That’s there if he wants it. I would definitely make a run at him if somebody ever asked me. Maybe there’s something else he wants to do, but the thing is he is very real and that is a quality that’s worth a lot.” 

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Former Fox Sports Exec David Hill: ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ Is ‘Unlistenable’

“I think ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ is a disgrace. The broadcast feed is almost unlistenable.”

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ESPN Press Room

Former Fox Sports president David Hill is not a fan of ESPN’s current Monday Night Football broadcast crew, which he expressed bluntly in a conversation with the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand.

In the latest edition of his premium “Sports Clicker” newsletter (subscribe here), Marchand talked to the former Fox executive about his newest endeavor. Hill was contacted by Greg Norman about working on a new golf league. The challenge is to innovate the way golf is covered on television and attract an audience much younger than the average 65-year-old who watches the sport.

The only sport that isn’t struggling with how to present itself on TV and streaming these days is the NFL in Hill’s view. Having overseen Fox Sports when the network got into the NFL business, he has some clear thoughts on the current product. And he’s not a fan of what ESPN is doing with Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick on its showcase NFL broadcast.

“I think ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ is a disgrace,” Hill told Marchand. “The broadcast feed is almost unlistenable. I think that’s why they decided to use the Mannings.”

Though he didn’t go into specifics, Hill is a fan of the “ManningCast.” It’s likely that he believes the alternate broadcast does a better job of attracting viewers more interested in video games and consuming their sports digitally.

Hill also praised CBS analyst Tony Romo, NBC broadcaster Cris Collinsworth, and Fox announcer Troy Aikman. His thoughts on Aikman probably shouldn’t be a surprise, though the Hall of Fame quarterback joined Fox Sports’ NFL coverage after Hill had moved on to an executive role for 21st Century Fox.

There’s no way of knowing if ESPN executives hold the same opinion toward the current Monday Night Football team. But that will surely be revealed by whether or not the network decides to bring the crew back for a third season.

Marchand reports that Griese’s contract is nearing its end, so a decision will obviously have to be made if the MNF trio is to return. So that could create an opening for Sean Payton, Pete Carroll, and Sean McVay, the three coaches reportedly attracting interest from TV networks.

ESPN previously talked to McVay about the MNF position in 2020. Of course, he has a chance to reach the pinnacle of the coaching profession if the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl. But maybe he’d want to go out on a high note.

Curiously, Riddick has not interviewed for either the Bears, Giants, or Vikings general manager openings after talking to the Lions, Texans, and Jaguars last year. But if that changes and Riddick moves to a team’s front office, ESPN would have to replace two broadcasters in its three-man booth.

Maybe ESPN will consult Hill on its future direction for the MNF booth. OK, probably not. But Hill certainly appears willing to consult.

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