We’re sure there’s no chance at all that this will end badly.
ESPN announced on Wednesday that the prodigal son, in this case Keith Olbermann, will be returning in August with a nightly late-night program on ESPN2.
The creatively titled “Olbermann” will be an hour-long format airing at 11 p.m. ET from ABC’s Times Square studios in New York City, premiering on August 26. It will feature commentary, interviews, regular contributors, panel discussions and highlights.
“Apart from the opportunity to try to create a nightly hour of sports television that no fan can afford to miss, I’m overwhelmed by the chance to begin anew with ESPN,” Olbermann blurbs. “I’ve been gone for 16 years and not one day in that time has passed without someone connecting me to the network. Our histories are indelibly intertwined and frankly I have long wished that I had the chance to make sure the totality of that story would be a completely positive one. I’m grateful to friends and bosses – old and new – who have permitted that opportunity to come to pass. I’m not going to waste it.”
Olbermann famously anchored ESPN’s “SportsCenter” from 1992-1997, expertly pairing with Dan Patrick. He put that gig on hold in 1993 when ESPN2 was announced and Olbermann was positioned as the mustached face and leather-jacket-wearing persona of that network, a gig he only held until 1994. Olbermann made a partial return to ESPN in 2005, co-hosting an ESPN Radio show with Patrick.
Since leaving ESPN in 1997, Olbermann has had high profile gigs on Fox Sports Net, MSNBC and, most recently, Current.
“Keith is a one-of-a-kind personality and these shows will be appointment viewing for that very reason,” states ESPN President John Skipper. “Keith brings a blend of editorial sophistication and unpredictability — you can never be sure what you”ll get. Olbermann on ESPN2 gives viewers the quality late-night complement to ESPN”s ‘SportsCenter’ in the same way we”ve developed distinct show options across our networks the rest of the day.”
ESPN promises more announcements about “Olbermann” in upcoming weeks, but the network ways that the premiere will be boosted by US Open tennis airing live that night on ESPN2.