ESPN not playing with ‘Hollywood’

Poor ratings caused cabler to nix skein

NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs.

Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” on its older sibling. The budget was a robust $15 million for the first year.

Poor Nielsen ratings caused ESPN2 to bring down the curtain on “Hollywood,” which will present its swan song Jan. 26. The co-hosts were Thea Andrews and Mario Lopez.

Praising the ability of the series to “capture the cross-currents of sports and entertainment,” John Skipper, executive VP of content for ESPN, said, “Our research and the ratings clearly suggest that a daily show may have been too much.”

Replacing “Hollywood” in its 6 o’clock slot on weeknights, beginning Jan. 30, is a “Best of Mike & Mike” half-hour, an edited version of the four-hour live morning show starring Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, which began at 6 a.m. on ESPN2 two weeks ago. Also on Jan. 30, “Quite Frankly With Stephen A. Smith” will move from its 6:30 p.m. timeslot to a latenight time period at 11.

Dave Berson, senior VP of programming and promotions for ESPN, said the ratings of ESPN2 have grown since the four-hour “Mike & Mike in the Morning” kicked off after moving to the network from ESPN News. “Cold Pizza,” ESPN2’s two-hour daily sports equivalent of “The Today Show” or “Good Morning, America,” also has gotten a boost in the ratings since it moved from 8 to 10 a.m., pushed out by “Mike & Mike.”

Berson said ESPN2 will try to absorb some of the staff of “Hollywood” into such shows as “Cold Pizza” or ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” which on some days can run for as many as 12 hours.

More TV

  • I Love Dick Amazon Premiere

    'I Love Dick,' 'One Mississippi,' 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson' Canceled by Amazon

    NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs. Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” […]

  • Hector Elizondo Holland Taylor

    Hector Elizondo, Holland Taylor Join NBC Comedy Pilot 'Guess Who Died'

    NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs. Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” […]

  • Supernatural -- "Wayward Sisters" -- Image

    ‘Supernatural’ Star Kim Rhodes on Adding Perspective and Saying ‘Yes to Women’

    NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs. Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” […]

  • CBS-Viacom Merger Talk Sows Tension Within

    Revival of CBS-Viacom Merger Talk Sows Tension Within Redstone Empire, Again

    NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs. Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” […]

  • Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

    TV News Roundup: 'Queer Eye' Netflix Reboot Drops First Trailer, Premiere Date (Watch)

    NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs. Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” […]

  • TV Review: 'Corporate' on Comedy Central

    TV Review: 'Corporate' on Comedy Central

    NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs. Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” […]

  • Natpe: Mediapro's Globomedia Inks Exclusive Pact

    Natpe: Mediapro's Globomedia Inks Exclusive Pact with Spanish Showrunner Javier Olivares

    NEW YORK — It turns out ESPN2 wasn’t ready for its close-up: The network has canceled “ESPN Hollywood,” its attempt to promote celebrity athletes the way “Entertainment Tonight” ballyhoos showbiz celebs. Six months ago, ESPN2 was touting the half-hour “Hollywood,” which premiered Aug. 15, as a potential signature show on the network similar to “SportsCenter” […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content