The ESPN Late Night Talk Show Rumors Are Apparently True

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


There's been a rumor floating around the Sports World for awhile now that ESPN was/is planning a late night talk show to air weekdays on ESPN2. Well according to multiple media outlets, including the NY Post, the rumor is soon to become a reality.

The show, according to officials, would be more of a cross between talk radio and "SportsCenter" than "The Tonight Show."

"It would be tomorrow's sports talk - tonight," a spokesman said, declining to provide further information citing the network's policy of not discussing shows in development.

ESPN sources note that the show is still in its earliest stages - although executives did tease the show to potential advertisers last May during the network's "Upfront" presentation.

The understanding is that the new show would include three recognizable ESPN personalities offering their opinions on the day's sports news.

ESPN 2's late night slate is currently something of a TV wasteland, with shows ranging from coverage of streetball to a NASCAR wrap-up show.
This is beyond a terrible idea, but there seems to be no stopping the "Leader" now. The sure-to-trainwreck show is plowing forward and if you thought First Take's ratings were bad....wait until ESPN "Late Night" gets going. The host names that have been floating around included Erik Kuselias, Dan LeBatard, Jason Whitlock and yes....Colin Cowherd. The good news is that TBL's "sources" say that three of the four have declined. The bad news....the one that hasn't is Kuselias. It very well could be the reason you've been seeing him everywhere on the network as of late.

I have a different thought though. Who's the one person at ESPN who actually has a good bit of experience working on a talk show? That's right folks....Bill Simmons. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but don't be surprised.

ESPN Joins Late Night (NY Post)

36 Comments:

I wonder if Bill Simmons (if he is indeed in talks to host) would have some qualms about going head-to-head for ratings with his buddy Jimmy Kimmel...

Jay said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:15:00 PM  

As terrible as this will be... It has to be better than said street ball BS. It's not even "And 1" bullshit that they play now-- it's even worse.

Bazooka Jones said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:17:00 PM  

Maybe ESPN has a contract with Kuselias that he has a certain number of hours, then he can be dropped. He's sucked on every show he's been a part of.

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:24:00 PM  

what, jay mohr and stephen a. smith aren't available???

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:32:00 PM  

Kuselias is awful at life. Anybody catch him trying to host the NASCAR show last year?

Good news is, if Kuselias hosts, it'll fail relatively quickly and we can go on living our lives.

Brian said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:35:00 PM  

And they're planning on calling it, "No, THIS is the Best Damn Sports Show Period!"

Yuck.

Shaggy said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:39:00 PM  

anon 2:24 is on target

espn goofed when they gave nascar now to kuselias and kuselias goofed when he took the gig and left sportsbash.

when that failed after one year, they gave him a saturday morning slot.

i like when he guest hosts for greenburg and cowherd on espnradio. i'm not able to catch any of his tv work because of work.

i wouldn't have a problem with ek hosting a tv sports show (he was out of his element with nascar now), but i probably wouldn't watch because of work.

or they could really make sure i don't watch and give it to that pud simmons. i don't want to hear about her old man, finch, j-crew, vegas and the 83 celtics. at least wait until her balls drop before you put her in front of a mic.

darkhorse candidate, e.smith?

-dan

-dan said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:40:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aug 27, 2008, 2:41:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aug 27, 2008, 2:42:00 PM  

Whitlock would have the jokes that started with, "did you hear the one about that guy who tried to be gangsta...."

stephen said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:50:00 PM  

Christ, let's just give Bill Simmons an even BIGGER ego.

Corbin said...
Aug 27, 2008, 2:59:00 PM  

Look out for ESPN to call 'everyone's favorite former SportsCenter host' Kenny Mayne and maybe Mike Lupica to gauge their interest, as well.
Darkhorse candidate? Jay Mariotti.

/worst case scenario

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 3:02:00 PM  

Thank you AA for ripping on Kuselias, as I requested earlier today.

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 3:04:00 PM  

Hey, another ESPN original program for me to not watch. Awesome. Why is it instead of focusing on improving what the network already has, Disney insists on just adding more shit to ESPN?

Kyle said...
Aug 27, 2008, 3:04:00 PM  

Kuselius blows, but has been introduced as host of some fantasy show that I have never seen or heard of. Anyone know what it is? Also, w/ Mariotti quitting, wonder if he is one of the three talking heads mentioned?

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 3:12:00 PM  

@rick james bible owner- as a long-time acquaintance of the Inge family(he's a local boy), that is an insult to Brandon.

Bruce said...
Aug 27, 2008, 3:28:00 PM  

Oh, and the only ESPN personality that makes me cringe more than C---- C---- is Kuselias. He is capital P, capital U, capital TRID.

Bruce said...
Aug 27, 2008, 3:32:00 PM  

AA should host. Imagine the possibilities... He could rip on Tim McCarver and Billy Packer, and drool over Bill Simmons! Make it happen AA!

Aug 27, 2008, 3:38:00 PM  

Frankly I would be surprised, AA. Despite an increase in the number of critics, Simmons still delivers the goods in the vast majority of his columns.

If by some minor miracle he becomes the host of this ESPN show, a typical weekly lineup is likely to be:

Mon: Jack-O
Tues: J-Bug
Wed: Hench & House
Thus: Adam Carolla
Fri: Dave Dameshek

BS may not want to write sports columns the rest of his life, but he should probably stick to what he does best...at least for another few years.

shawn kemp said...
Aug 27, 2008, 3:46:00 PM  

ESPN must've signed Kuselias to a large, long term contract for someone who is the TV & Radio equivalent to Jerome James, a serviceable back-up at best.

/made more accurate

Aug 27, 2008, 4:09:00 PM  

Eric Kuselias is an auditory abortion. He is ESPN's version of Ricky Davis. Everywhere he goes, he's a complete and utter failure.

GMoney said...
Aug 27, 2008, 4:10:00 PM  

I'd be remiss if I didn't ask: are Big Lead's sources the same it had when it reported Rick Reilly was trashed in the press box at an SEC football game, or the sources who reported De'Cody Fagg was ineligible for FSU's bowl game?

Kyle said...
Aug 27, 2008, 4:18:00 PM  

I think Kenny Mayne hosting with Bill Simmons as a reporter in the field would be perfect. Kenny Mayne is recognizable, talented and would add the right amount of sarcasm because he would know how ridiculous the show is. Anyone else besides Simmons or Mayne (maybe Berman too) and I will not watch a second of it.

IVSPORT said...
Aug 27, 2008, 4:21:00 PM  

I watched Kuselias' audtion for Classic Now (Classic Now? Yes it was a show on ESPN Classic that lasted about a minute). The audition was horrendous. He had to interview Bert Sugar and he kept referring to Bert as his "good friend" throughout the interview.
Please keep him off of TV

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 4:32:00 PM  

Anyone else here old enough to remember Lupica's horrible ESPN talk show? The psychic scars still exist for that piece of crap.

LeBatard talked about this the other day on his show. Thank goodness he turned it down.

odessasteps said...
Aug 27, 2008, 4:36:00 PM  

What they should do is mold the show in a Daily Show fashion, with somebody who is actually funny (this doesn't count Kenny Mayne or Nick Bakay or the Sklar Brothers).

Guarantee you whoever gets the job will take the show too seriously and it will bomb. I seriously have never seen such a conglomeration of irritable personalities on one network.

Eric said...
Aug 27, 2008, 5:28:00 PM  

ESPN wants a late night talk show. Joe Buck wants to do one. Do we have a match made in heaven? Err...hell.

James said...
Aug 27, 2008, 6:17:00 PM  

EK is the substitute teach of ESPN. I think he's on 24-hour call at "the world-wide leader". If Mike and Mike are busy doing a voice over for Domino's, they call Erik. If Skip Bayles' head explodes from dissing LeBron and TO, they call Erik.

My suggestion would be to put Scott Van Pelt in as host and maybe a sidekick like Emitt Smith. I just hope this doesn't turn into a Stu Scott production.

Anonymous said...
Aug 27, 2008, 8:26:00 PM  

@odessasteps- Yes I am. In fact, I'm old enough to remember Jack Paar hosting the Tonight Show(before Johnny Carson), and Dave Garroway on the "Today Show".

Bruce said...
Aug 27, 2008, 8:46:00 PM  

There will be an absolute avalanche of 'resumes' from discarded (or soon-to-be) newspaper hacks, looking to jump from the Titanic to the Lusitania. Eventually, heading down a career path that features free food, free travel, and free admission to sporting events in exchange for banging on some lettered keys is bound to turn around and bite you. I'm happy to see that it is.

Chris said...
Aug 27, 2008, 10:44:00 PM  

They should call this abomination "Room-Temperature Pizza"

KJ said...
Aug 28, 2008, 4:12:00 AM  

"It would be tomorrow's sports talk - tonight,"

Would they then change the name of "First Take" to something else more accurate, like, I don't know, "About To Be Cancelled"?

KJ said...
Aug 28, 2008, 4:15:00 AM  

I guess I'm in the minority, but I always enjoy Kuselias on the radio. To me he is infinitely more palatable that Seibel on the drive home.

I do think it's only a matter of time before Simmons is on the radio or TV. I'm guessing he'll let his contract with ESPN expire and then get his own radio show on the Mad Dog Radio station on satellite.

Bryan Allain said...
Aug 28, 2008, 9:40:00 AM  

Bryan Allain,

Though I'm not a Kuselias fan, I do think he's better on radio than on tv. He's certainly more capable than Seibel and Destrada.

I used to listen to Kuselias a fair amount until the TO suicide attempt/accidental overdose controversy. That's when Kuselias said he knew TO was lying because he could tell by "looking at his eyes." If Kuselias had just expressed that as his opinion, fine, whatever. But instead, he guaranteed that he was correct, practically said you were an idiot if you disagreed with him and couldn't see the clear truth that TO was lying, and then spent at least an hour bashing TO just for the sake of it. At that, I lost all interest in listening to his show.

I don't mind a radio host being opinionated, but I've never subscribed to the theory that a man becomes a know-it-all genius simply by getting a radio show.

James said...
Aug 28, 2008, 10:50:00 AM  

I don't mind a radio host being opinionated, but I've never subscribed to the theory that a man becomes a know-it-all genius simply by getting a radio show.

Isn't that how most radio hosts end up(if they're not already there)?

Bruce said...
Aug 28, 2008, 1:14:00 PM  

This is what I think: Kenny Mayne

Chus said...
Sep 28, 2008, 2:51:00 PM  

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