Obviously a network can’t sit still in this ever-changing Sports environment but in the collection of ESPN ideas, this is definitely a stretch. The “Leader” is apparently toying with the idea of turning ESPN2 into a late night talk show Sports haven which will include a “Daily Show” of Sports. From Deadspin via Broadcasting and Cable….

ESPN wants to build out a new late-night presence on ESPN2, but probably won’t return to scripted programming anytime soon, according to senior network executives.

ESPN2 is hoping to launch its hour-long late-night entry, ESPN Timeline, next April, but the ideal plan is to eventually expand to a 90-120-minute late-night block. ESPN has been soliciting and taking pitches for months for a more comedic-oriented potential companion show.

“It is something we would like to do,” says John Skipper, ESPN executive VP of content.

But the first step would be to get Timeline up and running. The network has no format as of yet, but foresees a multi-person chatfest about the latest in sports. ESPN execs envision a panel of personalities, ranging from ESPN anchors to possibly a comedian well-versed in the sports world—along the lines of Frank Caliendo of Fox Sports and TBS.

Once Timeline is up and running, ESPN would like to add a more comedic-slanted show to follow it. A sports version of The Daily Show has been discussed.

“That’s the holy grail,” says ESPN senior vice president of content development and enterprises Keith Clinkscales. “But I don’t know what it will be; it depends on talent. We remain open to different opportunities.”

The only thing that ESPN currently has going for itself is that the majority of its humor and talent already resides late night. The eleven o’clock Sports Center is the best thing on the network these days and I would definitely be interested in checking out what some of those personalities could come up with. The only problem is that ESPN already shot itself in the foot with the name “Frank Caliendo”. I don’t hate the guy but there is not a more stale act that you could tab these days.

Oh wait….yes there is….Nick Bakay and/or the Sklar Brothers. And guess who routinely employs them? You got it…..ESPN. I also know they’d get Mike and Mike involved somehow.

ESPN to Go Deeper Into Late Night (Broadcasting Cable)
ESPN Still Desperately Wants To Be Cool Again (Deadspin)

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