Monday, August 14, 2006

Jim Williams: Monday Night Football has a real D.C. feel
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Aug 14, 2006 5:00 AM (7 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 5 of 7,640 articles

WASHINGTON - Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser have had three practice sessions getting ready for their Monday Night Football telecast and all three dry runs have come here in the Washington/Baltimore area.

The new MNF team worked on their chemistry at Atlantic Video’s studios here in Washington where ESPN produces a number of shows including Pardon The Interruption.

The final practice session came Friday night in Baltimore where the trio did a mock telecast of the Ravens-Giants game.

So how is it coming?

Last week during a conference call with the trio, I heard plenty of back and forth that gives me a very good feeling about this version of MNF.

Not since the days of Frank Gifford, “Dandy” Don Meredith and Howard Cosell has there been a more entertaining trio in the Monday Night Football booth.

Tirico, Theismann and Kornheiser will bring fans a very good conversational style that should return the show to its roots. When MNF was first on the air in the 1970s it appealed to both the hard core fan as well as the casual fan. There was enough X and O’s talk to make true football fans happy but the banter between Gifford, Meredith and Cosell is what most people talked about on Tuesday mornings.

The new team will try to capture that magic in their own way and we will be talking about MNF on Tuesday’s again for the entertainment factor as well as the game.

I will be writing more about the changes to MNF before their Sept. 11 debut here in Washington but you can checkout the preseason version tonight at 8 when the Raiders take on the Vikings at the Metrodome.

ABC Sports is gone, time to welcome ESPN on ABC

As of Sept. 2, ABC Sports will be gone. The new name will be ESPN on ABC and it will allow the ESPN brand to be aired on the parent network.

ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer told me via conference call: “This evolutionary step reflects the extraordinary relationship ESPN has with today’s sports fans and the dynamic changes in how sports are consumed. ESPN has been infused with ABC Sports’ history of innovation, and we are committed to building upon that legacy as we continue to serve fans and our partners more effectively through ESPN on ABC.”

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

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