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Keith Olbermann on his new ESPN show: 'It will be a sports cast with my stamp on it.'

If Keith Olbermann wants to talk about politics on his upcoming nightly talker on ESPN2, he will. But, he says, it has to make sense first. “I’m not intending to talk about politics, certainly not in the partisan sense and not in the sense I have in the last ten years of work that I’ve done,” he said today during the first day of the Television Critics Association press tour, referring to his time on his MSNBC program Countdown. But, he admitted, “it’s a sports show and there will be occasions in which…we will have to talk about [it].”

Olberman, who recently settled a legal battle with Al Gore’s Current TV after he was fired from the network, also shot down reports that his contract included any limits on content and confirmed that that there will be no “pop culture segments.” “I’ve done and enjoyed and own the work I did in politics and news, but this is not what this is. I wanted to go back into sports,” he said.

Keith Olbermann headed back to ESPN2: Updated

Proving bridges can be rebuilt after they’ve been burned, ESPN is welcoming Keith Olbermann back into the fold. It’s now official: Olbermann, a one-hour show airing generally at 11 p.m. ET Monday-Friday, will debut Aug. 26 on ESPN2.

Back in March, the New York Times reported that Olbermann and his reps had approached ESPN about returning to the network, where he partnered with Dan Patrick to set the standard for SportsCenter. At that time, ESPN’s president John Skipper seemed slightly unreceptive: “I agreed to dinner with Keith because I assumed he’d be provocative and witty and fun to have dinner with, and he was indeed lots of fun,” Skipper told the Times. “Clearly he was looking to see if there was an entry point to come back… After the dinner, at that point, there was no real appropriate place for Keith to come back, nor did I feel like I was prepared to bring him back.” Instead, it was announced in June that Olbermann would host a postseason baseball studio show for TBS.

In today’s announcement, Skipper sang a different tune: “Keith is a one-of-a-kind personality and these shows will be appointment viewing for that very reason,” he said. “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.”

Olbermann’s prodigal-son return is especially ironic since he was the reluctant star of ESPN2 when it launched in 1993. Shifted from SportsCenter at the height of his fame to anchor the new network, Olbermann’s tenure at the Deuce had an inauspicious start, with Olbermann wearing a leather coat and beginning the show with the quip, “Welcome to the end of my career.” His tune has also changed: “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,” he said in the announcement. “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.”

Wimbledon final leads to big ratings for BBC

We all know Bradley Cooper loves tennis — and according to BBC’s ratings this weekend, he’s not the only one.

The U.K. network said a peak audience of 17.3 million tuned in to see Andy Murray dominate Novak Djokovic, breaking a 77-year British losing streak in men’s singles. The audience average was 12.1 million, up from 11.4 million average and 16.9 million peak last year.

Additionally, according to a release, 10.59 million people watched Wimbledon via BBC online streaming throughout the competition, up from 7.17m last year.

Keith Olbermann to host Turner Sports baseball show

Keith Olbermann is getting back into broadcasting.

Turner Sports said Wednesday that it is hiring Olbermann to host its baseball studio show for the postseason. He will team with Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley.

Olbermann most recently did a political show at Current TV before he had a falling-out with his bosses. While generally acknowledged to be a smart and witty broadcaster, off-screen battles with executives have kept him jumping to different jobs.

Olbermann was a postseason baseball studio host at both NBC and Fox more than a decade ago.

Read more:
Al Gore and Current TV hit with lawsuit over Al Jazeera sale
The prodigal son returns? Could Keith Olbermann and ESPN really bury the hatchet?
Time Warner Cable drops CurrentTV after sale

ESPN's Chris Broussard calls homosexuality a 'sin' in segment about Jason Collins

In a segment on Monday about NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out, EPSN analyst Chris Broussard said that as a Christian he does not “agree with homosexuality” and implied that by coming out as gay, Collins is “walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ.”

Broussard has come under fire for that comment, made on the network’s one-hour special episode of Outside the Lines, which focused on Collins’ essay in Sports Illustrated where he announced he is gay, becoming the first openly gay male major American professional sports player. READ FULL STORY

CBS looks away after gruesome NCAA basketball injury

After two initial replays, CBS stopped showing footage Sunday of Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware breaking his leg during the first half of his team’s NCAA men’s tournament game against Duke.

The injury during the nationally televised game, and the shocked reaction of Ware’s fellow players, called to mind the gruesome broken leg suffered by Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann in a Monday Night football game in 1985. During Sunday’s game, Theismann tweeted his best wishes to Ware.

Ware had leaped to try and block a shot by Duke’s Tyler Thornton. His leg landed awkwardly, buckled and flopped as he fell to the ground. The first hint that the injury was out of the ordinary came from Thornton, who put his hands to his face and had an anguished look as he ran back on defense.

CBS commentator Clark Kellogg described the injury was “gruesome.”

“If you can bear to watch it, take a look but it’s a gruesome-looking injury,” Kellogg said. READ FULL STORY

Regis Philbin to host Fox Sports cable show -- UPDATE

He’s baaack!

Television legend Regis Philbin has been without a regular TV gig since leaving Live! With Regis and Kelly in 2011. But this summer, Reeg will return to the airwaves with a series on Fox Sports 1 — a new channel that will replace the Fox-owned Speed channel on cable.

Philbin’s new show — and Fox Sports 1’s very existence — won’t officially be announced until this afternoon. [Update: It’s official!] Still, the advent of both is one of showbusiness’s worst-kept secrets; after some prodding from Barbara Walters, Philbin spilled the beans about his upcoming project on The View yesterday. “Yes, I think I will be doing another show,” the host said vaguely before giving a few specifics: “Fox is starting a sports channel. Everybody is starting a sports channel now, you know? Nothing but 24 hours of sports … Regis is going to have a show on that.” READ FULL STORY

Budweiser Clydesdale foal from Super Bowl commercial is named Hope

The three-week-old star of Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad now has a name: Hope.

Anheuser-Busch said Tuesday that its contest to find a name for the foal born Jan. 16 at the company’s Clydesdale ranch in mid-Missouri generated more than 60,000 tweets, Facebook comments and other messages. Hope was one of the more popular names generated through the social media effort. READ FULL STORY

'Necessary Roughness' producers: We would consider doing a Manti Te'o-inspired episode

The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend might provide some very real inspiration for the producers of USA’s Necessary Roughness.

As details continue to emerge about Te’o encounter with an alleged internet hoax — which led him to believe his girlfriend, whom he’d never met in person and did not actually exist, died of cancer — executive producers and co-creators Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro say they’re considering using the story for inspiration in an episode in the next season.

“We only just now started to map out season 3, [but] of course it comes up about every five minutes in the [writer’s] room,” says Shapiro. “We’ve yet to determine if we’ve figured out a way how to slot it into what we do on our show, [but] we’d like to.”


First promo for Lance Armstrong's Oprah interview -- VIDEO

It’s here. The first promo for the two-part Lance Armstrong sitdown with Oprah Winfrey has been released.

In the short clip, Winfrey says, “We agreed there would be no conditions on this interview and that this would be an open field. So here we go.”

Winfrey appeared on CBS This Morning this morning and confirmed that Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs. However, she added, “He did not come clean in the manner I expected.”

Armstrong’s interview will air Thursday, Jan. 17 from 9-10:30 p.m. ET, and Friday, Jan.18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on OWN. The interview will be simultaneously streamed live worldwide both nights on

Watch the preview below: READ FULL STORY

Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah to air over two nights

Oprah Winfrey’s much-anticipated interview with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will air over two nights instead of one, starting Jan. 17, Winfrey’s OWN network announced today.

The move comes as curiosity over the contents of the interview continues, and Winfrey herself went on CBS This Morning Tuesday and confirmed that Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during their sitdown in Austin, Texas. However, she added, “he did not come clean in the manner I expected.” READ FULL STORY

Lance Armstrong tells Oprah Winfrey he doped

Lance Armstrong has finally come clean.

After years of bitter and forceful denials, he offered a simple “I’m sorry” to friends and colleagues and then admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs during an extraordinary cycling career that included seven Tour de France victories. READ FULL STORY

'The Office': Julius 'Dr. J' Erving to guest -- EXCLUSIVE

Julius Erving, a.k.a. Dr. J, has a new teammate, and his name is… Jim Halpert? The basketball Hall of Famer will guest-star as himself on The Office, EW has learned. In the episode, Dr. J becomes an investor in the sports marketing business that Jim (John Krasinski) is trying to launch in Philadelphia, where Erving scored more than a few baskets as a 76er. And as you can see in the photo below, the 62-year-old legend winds up showing Jim a thing or two on the court. READ FULL STORY


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