Behind the Mic: Bob Costas Makes Return to HBO With Back on the Record With Bob Costas; ESPN To Retain Current Monday Night Football Booth

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, HBO gains the services of Bob Costas, ESPN will continue with the same Monday Night Football booth, former MLBer Yonder Alonso joins MLB Network, and more.

Bob Costas Returns To HBO With The Launch of Back on the Record With Bob Costas

28-time Emmy-winner and legendary broadcaster Bob Costas returns to HBO with the launch of Back on the Record With Bob Costas. The series, which will air four episodes each year, will be driven by in-depth interviews with the biggest names in sports, entertainment and popular culture, and discussions led by Costas that will address today’s most topical sports issues.

“Bob has long been one of the most talented and versatile broadcasters in the world of sports and entertainment,” says Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of programming, HBO. “We are thrilled for his return to HBO.

Back on the Record With Bob Costas premieres later this spring on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

“HBO is synonymous with the highest quality of television programming,” says Costas. “And their sports programming has always been both innovative and thoughtful. For those reasons and more, I am very pleased to again be part of HBO.”

Each episode of the series will feature extended conversations with the biggest names in sports, from present-day superstars to legends of the past to commissioners and other newsmakers from the sports landscape; roundtable discussions with compelling figures from the sports world and beyond; and signature commentaries from Costas himself that capture his distinctive voice and point of view.

Costas returns to HBO where he won seven Sports Emmy Awards as host of “On The Record with Bob Costas” (2001-2004) and “Costas Now” (2005-2009), regularly making news as provocative and engaging guests tackled top-of-mind issues and controversies. One of the most accomplished broadcasters of his generation, Costas’s voice has been the soundtrack of some of the most significant events in sports television history, and his reputation as an industry-leading interviewer and authoritative voice on emerging issues in sports will be central to the show.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Costas remains the only broadcaster to be recognized with an Emmy in news, sports and entertainment. He has been honored as Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association (NSSA) a record eight times and was the youngest to receive such an honor when he won the award in 1985. His distinguished career includes having served as primetime host for a record 11 Olympic Games on NBC; host and play-by-play voice of numerous World Series and NBA Finals, as well as the host of multiple Super Bowls, U.S. Open Golf Championships, Triple Crown races, and more.

Costas will remain with MLB Network, which he joined in 2009, to handle play-by-play duties and taped programming specials. He also serves as a contributor to CNN focusing on the intersection between news and sports.

Back on the Record With Bob Costas is executive produced by Jonathan Crystal, Ross Greenburg, and Howard Bryant. (WarnerMedia)

ESPN To Keep Same Monday Night Football Announcers for 2021 

Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick will return to the Monday Night Football booth this fall for ESPN

The trio became the full-time team in 2020 after calling the late game between Denver and Oakland in ESPN’s 2019 season-opening doubleheader. (Twitter)

MLB All-Star Yonder Alonso Joins MLB Network as On-Air Analyst

Former MLB All-Star Yonder Alonso has joined MLB Network’s roster of on-air personalities as an analyst appearing across its programming. Alonso, who spent 10 years in Major League Baseball (2010-2019) primarily as a first baseman, will make his debut as a guest co-host on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk this Friday, April 30 at 5:00 p.m. ET alongside Stephen Nelson. Highlights from Alonso’s career can be viewed here, and you can follow him on Twitter via @YonderalonsoU and on Instagram via @Yonder2323.

Alonso’s 10-year career began with the Cincinnati Reds (2010-2011), before joining the San Diego Padres (2012-2015), Oakland Athletics (2016-2017), Seattle Mariners (2017; American League All-Star), Cleveland Indians (2018), Chicago White Sox (2019) and Colorado Rockies (2019). Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in Round 16 of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft then the Reds in Round 1 of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, Alonso went on to compile 872 hits with 426 RBI, 181 doubles and 100 home runs in 1,072 Major League games. Following retirement from baseball, Alonso has contributed to MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, a role he will continue this season. (MLB)

Julian Edelman Joins New Team at Inside the NFL for 2020-21 Season

Three-time Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman will join the Emmy Award-winning studio show Inside the NFL as an analyst when the series makes its debut on Paramount+ this September, kicking off its 43rd season on television. Edelman will join James Brown, Phil Simms and Brandon Marshall for the weekly series, also featuring contributions from NFL Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis throughout the season.

Edelman, who recently announced his retirement from the NFL, will provide a fresh-off-the-field perspective, commentary and expert analysis using the knowledge he acquired over the course of his legendary 12-year career with the New England Patriots, in which he earned a reputation as one of the NFL’s most clutch receivers.

The move to  Inside the NFL will mark the second association between Edelman and ViacomCBS brands. Edelman, alongside founding partner Assaf Swissa, launched Coast Productions in 2019 and worked with SHOWTIME Sports on a documentary film co-written by Swissa and director Kyler Schelling titled 100%: JULIAN EDELMAN. In addition to INSIDE THE NFL, Edelman along with Coast Productions will further explore their creativity with the development of projects across various ViacomCBS networks and properties as part of the multi-year deal. (Showtime)

Steve Kornacki, Jac Collingsworth Join NBC Sports’ Kentucky Derby Coverage

Steve Kornacki, NBC News’ and MSNBC’s celebrated national political correspondent, will join NBC Sports’ 2021 Kentucky Derby coverage on Saturday, May 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Kornacki, who has been widely lauded for his ability to easily communicate the complex election process, will apply his unique analytical perspective in “Meet the Contenders” segments on the Kentucky Derby field. In addition, he will offer insight on notable betting trends. Last fall, Kornacki brought his election-style coverage to Football Night in America, breaking down the NFL playoff picture. (NBC Sports)

Kentucky native Jac Collinsworth will also join NBC Sports’ 2021 Kentucky Derby coverage as a reporter. From locations throughout Churchill Downs, Collinsworth will report on a wide-range of topics – from the connections of improbable Kentucky Derby qualifier Hot Rod Charlie to the food (and drink), fashion and fun that make the Kentucky Derby one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. (NBC Sports)

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