More media notes heading into the weekend after today’s column (linked here):
== You should know the drill by now — Fox has red carpets and TMZ and Obama sightings planned for how its Super Bowl Sunday will unravel, after the NFL Films’ traditional “Road to the Super Bowl” (9 a.m.) and a Troy Aikman-hosted “Inside the Rings” sorta-infomercial for Rent-A-Center (10 a.m.) gets you to the start of the four-hour pregame show (11 a.m., Channel 11).
Fox’s hour-by-hour segments planned, unless more snow gets in the way:
Between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.: The red carpet show hosted by Michael Strahan and “Access Hollywood’s” Maria Menounos, hoping to catch as many Fox-show-related celebs coming into the game, or stopping by to make it appear they’re going to the game.
12:30 p.m.: The celebrity news website TMZ provides its unique review of the week’s Super Bowl scene and night-life in Dallas.
1:30 p.m.: The awkward transition from red carpet to Fox New Channel’s Bill O’Reilly’s Q-and-A shoutdown with President Obama.
2:30 p.m.: Terry Bradshaw has a Q-and-A with Ben Roethlisberger.
2:53 p.m.: Excerpts from The Declaration of Independence as read by a number of current and former NFL greats with representatives of the U.S. military.
3 p.m.: Official game coverage starts, with kickoff somewhere closer to 3:30 p.m., by which time Joe Buck and Aikman will be glad to just have a contest to sit around and chat about.
The NFL Network’s rundown includes a 6 a.m. start with 25 on-air people that will include the announcement of the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award at 9 a.m.
== CBS dispatches Ian Eagle and Greg Anthony to call Saturday’s UCLA-St. John’s game from Pauley Pavilion (Channel 2, 10 a.m.). Again the early tipoff is to facilitate the network’s coverage of the third round of the PGA’s event in Scottsdale, Ariz.
== If you hadn’t heard: Stephen A. Smith is returning to ESPN as a local radio host and ESPN.com columnist. The deal has him doing two shows a day — one for ESPN 1050 in New York from 7-9 p.m. ET, and the other on KSPN-AM 710 here from 6-8 p.m. Smith, most recently apart of Fox Sports Radio, hosted a show of his own on ESPN Radio from 2005-08, and had his own TV show on ESPN2 from 2005-07.
Which means, in the 2011 Daily News Best/Worst of the L.A. Media, we may not have Stephen A., Max Kellerman or Marcellus Wiley in the Bottom 5. Considering they could be in and out by next Janurary.
== After 29 years of broadcasting, including the last 24 at ESPN and ABC, Bob Griese , who turned 66 on Thursday, took the occasion to announce his retirement from the profession.
“I’ve had a wonderful career and now it’s time to experience new things,” he said in an ESPN statement. “I’ve had many highlights along the way, from working the NFL’s Super Bowl and college football’s championship games to covering many of my son Brian’s games during his undefeated season in 1997 (at Michigan). I want to thank ABC, ESPN and the fans for their support and all the men and women on our TV crews for their patience and support thru the years.”
Griese, a member of both the Pro Football and College Football Halls of Fame, joined ABC in 1987. For the past two seasons, he worked ESPN’s Saturday telecasts with Dave Pasch and Chris Spielman. With Keith Jackson, Griese called his son, Brian’s, final college game in the 1998 Rose Bowl Game.
Griese started his career at NBC as an NFL analyst from 1982-’86, which included a Super Bowl XX call (Chicago over New England from New Orleans in ’86) with Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen.
== The NFL Network has the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee announcement — Saturday, 4 p.m. — hosted by Rich Eisen, Michael Irvin, Rod Woodson and Steve Young. NFL Network analysts Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders, and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol, are among the finalists.
During a debate of the candidates on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” Cris Collinsworth said: “We have sort of discussed whether or not there shouldn’t be a separate category for the Ed Sabols and Paul Tagliabues and Ron Wolfs. Because this is the NFL Hall of Fame, and there should be, no player should be giving up their spot for somebody who didn’t play on the field. These should be discussions about the players that played the game.”
It’s a Pro Football Hall of Fame, actually, and the point is well taken.
== NBC has another version of the Washington Capitals vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins — indoors, in D.C., on Sunday (Channel 4, 9:30 a.m., NBCSports.com live streaming) with Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire. NBC had 4.5 million viewers for what turned out to be a prime-time meeting between the two on New Year’s Day.
== Versus reports that last Sunday’s NHL All-Star game was the most-watched in the network’s history — averaging close to 1.5 million viewers and peaking at nearly a 2.0 rating from 3:45 to 4 p.m. PDT.The game pushed Versus to the No. 1-rated cable network among men 18-34 and No. 2-rated cable network in the country among men 18-49 and men 25-54.
== ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” returns Monday in a 12:30 p.m. ESPN2 slot, with Karl Ravech and/or Steve Berthiaume joined by Aaron Boone, Nomar Garciaparra, Doug Glanville, Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney, Eduardo Perez, Chris Singleton, Rick Sutcliffe, Bobby Valentine and/or Dave Winfield. Once the season starts, it moves back to Monday-Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m., and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
== Eric Wynalda, the Westlake Village-based former U.S. national team star, will be part of Fox Soccer Channel’s “Super Sunday” coverage from the Fox NFL studio set in Century City, starting at 7 a.m. with the live Chelsea-Liverpool EPL match at 8 a.m. Part of the show includes Wynalda taking on USC’s Joe Houston in a field-goal kicking contest.
Wynalda’s Super Bowl pick?
“My parents lived a couple blocks from Lambeau Field before I was born in Fullerton) and are still fans. It’s a big deal in our family that the Packers have made it to the Super Bowl. The Steelers are, as always, smash-mouth football and will be tough, but the Packers will take it, in my opinion. (Aaron) Rodgers the MVP with 350 passing yards. Green Bay, 31-14. My dad would disown me if I predicted anything different.”
== HBO has new replay dates for its “Lombardi” documentary that debuted two months ago. Catch it again tonight (6:30 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.).
== ESPN also announced it has reached 100,002,000 homes as of this month. When it launched in Sept., 1979, there were 1.4 million homes, and it wasn’t in Hawaii until Dec., 1984. The net also says ESPN2 is in 99.9 mil homes to date, launching with 10 mil in Oct. 1993.
== ABC’s Lakers-Celtics game last Sunday had a 5.0 overnight rating, tying a Lakers- Cavs 2009 broadcast as the highest-rated, non-Christmas Day, NBA regular-season game ever on the network. In L.A., it had a 11.1 rating; it was 10.3 in Boston. And they meet again on TNT next Thursday.
== And even tougher to believe: The NFL says last Sunday’s Pro Bowl on Fox was the most watched game of its kind in 14 years — drawing 13.4 million viewers — and making it the most-viewed all-star game in any sport since the 2009 MLB All-Star Game (14.6 million).
== It’ll cost you either $5.99 for the January issue of Playboy (eight pages of nakedness from locker room settings), or $19.95 for the pay-per-view telecast of Los Angeles Tempation vs. the Philadelphia Passion in Lingerie Bowl VIII (linked here) from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Sunday at 5 p.m. (scheduled for about halftime of Super Bowl XLV).
Or, it’s $29.95 if you want the hi-def broadcast.
No 3-D. Seems like they’re missing a huge opportunity there.
Getting you up to speed: The Lingerie Football League began in 2004, and now has 10 teams in 10 cities, with games on MTV2.