ABC recalled Don Ohlmeyer earlier this year to take over the “Monday Night Football” franchise and bring back the glory days of the 1970s, when masses of people watched the program as much for the antics of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford in the booth as for the games themselves.
But the commentators that Ohlmeyer wants to join play-by-play man Al Michaels have either said no (Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells) or are under contract to Fox (John Madden, Terry Bradshaw). The result is that ABC may end up going with Dan Fouts, a one-time CBS color man who hasn’t called an NFL game since 1994, when CBS lost the rights to the AFC games to Fox. Even though Fouts is not ABC’s first choice, Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports, says he has “a good football mind. He’s well spoken and delivers a relaxed presentation.”
And the third man? Pilson says that he should be “an entertainment personality with legitimate sports credentials.” Pilson’s ideal candidate: Kevin Costner. Rush Limbaugh keeps putting his own name forward, but Pilson says Limbaugh’s often outrageous radio and TV opinion mongering makes him too risky for a regular spot.
— John Dempsey
Missing ‘Raymond’ screeners found
Call off the search party: The missing “Everybody Loves Raymond” Emmy screeners have been found.
A truck carrying 9,600 “Raymond” tapes had been stolen late last month (Daily Variety, May 26); a driver for the truck company spotted the vehicle Wednesday just five minutes away from where it disappeared late last month.
“Our long national nightmare is over,” joked “Raymond” exec producer Phil Rosenthal. All but 500 of the missing tapes were found in the truck, which had completely been stripped for parts. “They must have used those tapes to jack up the truck and steal the tires,” Rosenthal said. “If I see 500 tapes and tires on eBay, I’m gonna know.”
Worldwide Pants and HBO Independent Prods. had redubbed the tapes to mail out to TV Academy members after the originals vanished. Rosenthal said the show will donate the 9,100 found tapes to hospitals and nursing homes.
— Michael Schneider