Peyton and Eli Manning ManningCast auditions for the third host, screengrab via Omaha YouTube.

Following two successful seasons, The ManningCast (technically, ESPN still calls it Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli) is back for another. ESPN and Omaha Productions announced on Tuesday that the alternate Monday Night Football broadcast with Peyton and Eli Manning would be returning for its third season with a star-studded guest list (yet to be announced) and some new bells and whistles, which includes a new 3-dimensional technology for Peyton to interact with throughout the telecast and perhaps a new host?

ESPN featured an announcement from Peyton and Eli, announcing the Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli schedule, while also teasing the possibility of a third ManningCast host in a comedy sketch on the Omaha Productions YouTube page.

They interviewed a variety of candidates, including Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, Sean Payton, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Tucker, Dan Campbell, Mike McDaniel, Ray Lewis, Sean McVay and Christian McCaffrey. Then, after a conversation with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in which he suggested that the third host didn’t have to be a player or a coach, they interviewed the likes of DJ Khaled, Mike Tyson, Howie Mandel, Reese Witherspoon, Livvy Dunne, Lil Wayne, Will Arnett, Kenan Thompson, Sarah Silverman, Stephen A. Smith, Kyle Brandt, Al Michaels and Pat McAfee.

The end of the clip features the two brothers saying that they guessed it would just be the two of them this season unless there was someone on the list who was “perfect” for the job. They agreed there wasn’t anybody on that particular list before panning to Tom Brady in a waiting room area.

“No, I didn’t get the ManningCast job. I guess I’ll just come back and play football again,” Brady quipped.

While there won’t be a third host, ESPN officially released the 2023 ManningCast schedule of ten games, which you can see below:

1 Sept. 11 Buffalo Bills at New York Jets ESPN2, ESPN+
4 Oct. 2 Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants ESPN2
5 Oct. 9 Green Bay Packers at Las Vegas Raiders ESPN2
7 Oct. 23 San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings ESPN2
9 Nov. 6 Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets ESPN2
10 Nov. 13 Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills ESPN2
11 Nov. 20 Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs ESPN2, ESPN+
13 Dec. 4 Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars ESPN2
15 Dec. 18 Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots ESPN2
Wildcard Jan. 15 TBD ESPN2, ESPN+

Here’s more from the announcement:

The 2023 Sports Emmy Award winner for Most Outstanding Analyst and two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning and his younger brother, two-time Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning, will kick the season off with Aaron Rodgers’ New York Jets debut against the AFC East defending champion, Buffalo Bills on Week 1 of ESPN’s Monday Night Football (Sept. 11, 8 p.m. ET). Inclusive of Week 1, 10 editions of the award-winning Monday Night Football alternate telecast will air throughout the 2023-24 NFL season, including the Monday night Super Wild Card game and appearances from Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts, among others. All telecasts will air on ESPN2, with select shows on ESPN+. All presentations also available on NFL+.

Before the alternate broadcast began in 2021, there was a lot of talk of a third host beyond Peyton and Eli Manning. That was ESPN’s original plan, with figures like Adam Schefter mentioned, and a variety of prominent sports media personalities actually auditioning for the role, including NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt. But Brandt himself said then “The hype is real, they don’t need a host. They don’t need a third person. The Manning Brothers continue to raise the bar on their own, as 19 of the 20 spots in ESPN’s top-20, most-watched alternate telecasts belong to the ManningCast. There’s certainly more in store for this season.


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.