ESPN today announced several upcoming changes to its morning and daytime lineup, most of which do not affect the large portion of the sports-loving populace who actually hold down steady jobs.
Beginning May 7, ESPN2’s Cold Pizza, which we already sort of suspected was not long for this world, is renamed ESPN First Take and moves its studio from New York City to Bristol, Conn. During First Take, there will be debate segments called 1st and 10 (not to be confused with the old HBO series starring O.J. Simpson). These segments will feature two commentators from a rotating group consisting of Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, tennis commentator Patrick McEnroe and ESPN.com columnist Jemele Hill. 1st and 10 will get its own half-hour spinoff show on weekday afternoons, so Bayless and Smith can finish what they started. And ESPN2’s simulcast of Mike and Mike in the Morning moves from out of the radio studio to a high-definition TV studio.
In fact, all of this daytime stuff is going to be in HDTV, begging the question: Why? Is Skip Bayless going to actually be likable in HD? Does HD make Stephen A. more insightful? Are Mike and Mike sexier in HD? And I can’t imagine this is exactly what ESPN had in mind for Stephen A. when they ended Quite Frankly.
But there’s also a good change that was probably a long time coming: Morning editions of SportsCenter get the PTI treatment featuring a “Rundown” graphic along the side of the screen listing all the upcoming elements of the show, like this:
Uh, but like I said, all this probably won’t affect you … or interest you. Just sayin’.