(New York, New York) — Showtime Networks and CBS Sports are teaming to bring the highly acclaimed and award-winning NFL studio show, INSIDE THE NFL, to SHOWTIME. The announcement was made today by Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Showtime Networks, Inc., Steve Bornstein, Executive Vice President of NFL Media, and Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports and Executive Producer, THE NFL ON CBS.
The show will be produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films and will premiere on SHOWTIME on Wednesday, September 10 (9:00 PM, ET/PT). It will air each Wednesday throughout the season through Wednesday, February 11, 2009.
Since its premiere in 1977, the heart of the one-hour show has been its exclusive and award-winning inside views from NFL Films, as well as its storied roster of talent recapping the weekend’s games and previewing the match-ups for the week ahead. The talent team for INSIDE THE NFL on Showtime will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We welcome the NFL to the SHOWTIME family,” said Blank. “We’re thrilled to be joining the successful partnership of CBS Sports and the NFL in presenting the show to our subscribers. It’s a perfect fit with our original scripted series and sports programming.”
“CBS Sports is proud to expand its association with the National Football League and the award-winning team at NFL Films to produce INSIDE THE NFL for Showtime,” said McManus. “We look forward to bringing the show to a new stage with a new team of talent and to continue to make history in the style that has been recognized for more than three decades.”
“It’s great to develop a deeper relationship with one of our broadcast partners, CBS Sports, and bring the Emmy Award-winning INSIDE THE NFL to its new home on SHOWTIME,” said Bornstein. “INSIDE THE NFL has set the standard as one of the best shows on television for over 30 years and fans will continue to enjoy the same high-quality production from NFL Films and CBS Sports this season on Showtime.”
“This is the granddaddy of all highlight shows,” said Steve Sabol, President of NFL Films. “The combination of our film and game sound with the analysis in the studio gives INSIDE THE NFL a perfect balance of action and insight. That’s why it’s been so popular for so long.”
Past hosts of the INSIDE THE NFL have included Chuck Bednarik, Nick Buoniconti, Cris Carter, Cris Collinsworth, Bob Costas, Len Dawson, Jerry Glanville, Merle Harmon, Jimmy Johnson, Peter King, Dan Marino and Al Meltzer.
LV’s Take: I believe the announcement of NFL Films, CBS, and Showtime bringing back “Inside the NFL” is outstanding, because NFL Fans need the venerable king of NFL highlight shows. ITN is often imitated, but can never be replaced even if there is ESPN, NFL Network, and many others following it’s lead. HBO made a hasty decision in pulling the plug on the NFL highlight show that started it all, which many attribute to layoffs at the NFL multimedia giant. The commentary on ITN is the best in the business and NFL Films shoots games like none other. With broadcast superstar James Brown on board as the host look for a monumental rebirth.
** NFL Media contributed to part of this piece.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)