Fox Sports 1's debut week continued on Monday with the premiere episode of Crowd Goes Wild, a panel show with its marketing centered around Regis Philbin. Make no mistake about it, Philbin is the most recognizable face on the show, but I came away from the first episode thinking of Philbin as just another member of the panel as opposed to the star.
Over the hour, I developed opinions about four of the five faces on the show aside from Regis. Georgie Thompson was the de facto host of the program, functioning extremely well as a traffic cop in the same way Charissa Thompson does on Fox Sports Live. For as good as the reviews on Charissa's job were, I think Georgie was actually better and someone who could take on an anchor role in the future as she was at Sky Sports in the UK. She was quick, polished, and intelligent, bringing some sort of order to the chaos that was unfolding around here.
The one panelist I really couldn't come to an opinion on was Jason Gay. He didn't have his own segment to shine like the rest of the panelists, and didn't get much time to talk in the group sessions either. Trevor Pryce had his moments, but didn't move the needle much. Comedian Michael Kosta tried too hard with his jokes, but his role in Pardon the Contradiction (which looks like it'll be a recurring thing) with Katie Nolan was pretty funny. Speaking of Nolan, she has star written all over her, especially if her No Filter Youtube videos make the leap to TV.
Regis actually worked out pretty well in his role. This wasn't LIVE! With Regis and Georgie and Michael and Katie, and it more closely resembled SportsNation (before it hit a brick wall) with more people on set. The format of the show is weird, with a solid 15 minute (at least) block in the middle of the show dedicated to Regis the Horse. Seriously. There were some laughs, but not enough for the extremely absurd amount of airtime as this segment took up.
The show also closed with a brief interview with Oscar de la Hoya to promote the evening's debut episode of Golden Boy Fights, and it seemed out of place. Unfortunately, it looks like a guest is going to be on the ledger for the foreseeable future for the show, and I really don't see how any of them fit in.
Despite my negativity, I actually enjoyed the show as a whole. Somehow, it all worked to put together an entertaining show. As with most everything on Fox Sports 1, there are tweaks that will be necessary. Crowd Goes Wild isn't like Around the Horn or PTI, where panelists yell over each other to make their point. It's more of a SportsNation meets The View type of show, with the panel engaging in friendly, humorous discussions and occasionally screwing around with other completely random tangents.
There are a few things that this show is: polarizing, confusing, and most of all, fun. I can definitely see why this wouldn't be your cup of tea. In fact, I can definitely see many of you thinking it's terrible. But I can also see it reaching different demographics from your usual batch of "embrace debate" shows.