Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monday TV Showdown Features The Heavyweights

Following a big racing weekend, both ESPN and SPEED will pull-out the stops to offer their best Monday NASCAR programs. Fewer dates are bigger than this Talladega and Kansas triple-header, so both networks are breaking out the heavyweights.

First up will be ESPN. It will be the trio of Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Ray Evernham who will invade the Bristol, CT studios on Monday. Jarrett will appear on First Take in the morning and then join Evernham on ESPNEWS. Petree will be chatting on with the online set.

The day will conclude for these three when they join Allen Bestwick for the "roundtable" version of NASCAR Now at 5:30PM Eastern Time. This one hour show is a thinly disguised version of the old Inside Winston Cup Racing that was a staple on SPEED for over ten years.

Bestwick was the cornerstone of that show, and has brought his influence to bear on ESPN in a big way. He now has three panelists sitting on studio chairs engaging in casual conversation while reviewing video highlights of the weekend. Sound familiar?

This format has been a big hit since it was first unveiled, and continues to grow in status with the wide variety of NASCAR personalities that ESPN welcomes to the show. The combination on Monday is perhaps the most veteran panel ever assembled.

Over on SPEED, the network continues to work very hard on building the new This Week In NASCAR franchise. Monday at 8PM show host Steve Byrnes will welcome Michael Waltrip and Chad Knaus to the program as panelists. Waltrip and Knaus were together on this series earlier, and actually had a good chemistry as things progressed.

This one hour show incorporates lots more video elements than the old Inside NEXTEL Cup, and is much faster-paced. The two elements that continue to trip-up the flow are now well known. There is no third panelist, and the program begins with a preview of the upcoming race rather than a review of the recent event.

The edited video elements from the NASCAR Media Group in this program are sometimes spectacular. Gathered together, they would be great in a stand-alone program or as an online offering. Inserted into the show, they sometimes steal the thunder of the casual conversation of the guests.

Byrnes has been working on his tone in this program, which has to be different from the raucous nature of Trackside. He had a good last show with Knaus and Waltrip, which included the fun and wacky humor of Waltrip once again coming to the surface. The future for this program will be what SPEED and NMG make it.

So, NASCAR fans get the A-team from both SPEED and ESPN on Monday. It should be interesting to see how both these programs pan out, and how the high-profile personalities mesh on-the-air. There will be reviews of both shows on The Daly Planet shortly after they end. Your comments will be welcome.

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Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. AB on NN w/the gang of three so much resembles the INC of yrs ago. SPEED had a good thing going. Do not know if ESPN knows it or not, but if I had a say in the matter. I would keep the Monday night show for a while. I have been watching NN and recording TWIN. And if things do not get better, I will not even bother recording TWIN in the future.

Anonymous said...

Here's my deal with Evernham's use on this show. I want him to speak like a car owner; he is long removed from the crew chief role. Plus Andy Petree, while also removed from that CC role, already has that angle covered for ESPN NASCAR coverage. And Petree never had huge ownership responsibilities like Evernham did with bringing Dodge back.

I want to know what a Cup owner thinks or does when he has two cars which were in the Chase at the beginning of the year - and after week 4 (Sadler) and week 8 (Kahne) they aren't in the Chase anymore. Sadler is 26th in driver's points now. Evernham also has a car that has never been in top 35 in 2008. So how does an Cup owner look at these challenges - what changes need to be made? What pressure does this put on them as far as sponsorships (Bud isn't going to be happy if Kasey keeps falling; I don't think Patrick has full sponsorship).

In other words, if ESPN is going to continue the route of having an owner on their programs, Evernham should approach the discussions from a perspective that only an owner with two major stars in his cars can answer. Not "well, when I was a crew chief a million years ago, I did such and such." Don't want to hear it.

He should also be able to comment on Tony S. and the other free agents that was a major topic this week; Ray got Sadler to leave his contract early and come to EMS in 2006 (though strangely, Evernham and Sadler always denied in the media they had talked to each other about contracts - until the move was made). And the way this year is going, Kasey may ask out of his GEM contract by the end of the year, especially if that Gibbs or RCR job comes open. So what does Ray think about free agency and leaving contracts early?

Let's hear from the owner tomorrow, NASCAR Now. If he doesn't want to talk about that kind of stuff, I don't see what value he brings to ESPN - and thus he doesn't need to be on the network.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be interesting to see where Ray Evernham stands on drivers breaking contracts (or signing future contract while still on old ones) on Monday's NN. I recall when a reporter had breaking news that DEI was pursuing Kasey Kahne last year -Kahne alledgely had some clause in his contract where he could leave - RE was very angry. I think he said something on the radio about considering sueing reporters who write "rumors" as the only way to deter them from doing so.

I also found something RE said in an article last year about contracts, and would like to see if he still believes it because of all the Tony Stewart news.

On the related topic of driver movement, Evernham said the current free-for-all situation with no rules against tampering would eventually have to end.
"There will have to be more controls over who and when you can talk to the crew members and the drivers," he said. "If I have a contract with you, and you have two or three more years on your contract and you go and tell me that you've signed with somebody else when your contract is done, you've basically killed my program.

"So sooner or later, there'll be a lawsuit over something like that, and that'll start to change it."

I get the idea RE likes the concept of lawsuits for some reason b/c he mentions it a lot. ;) I'm looking forward to NN!

Andrew S. said...

No Schrader AGAIN?? When will the suits at Speed clue in that it is the chemistry between Schrader and Mikey that makes the show enjoyable. And given that Schrader was in the race and had a mechanical issue it'd be good to know what exactly happened and what he will be doing for the next couple of weeks. Guess I can delete TWIN from my TiVo wishlist for this week.

Bestwick, if you are reading this you need to have Schrader and JB on together.

Ritchie said...

I agree with Mr. Daly about NASCAR Now. I have a good feeling about the panel assembled for the ESPN round table today. That is a lot of experience sitting on that set, and with the stories that have broken this past week, that experience will be useful.

I'd like to say how much I am enjoying Andy Petree on ESPN. That guy can simplify a complicated subject and still explain it very well. I have heard rumors that he is leaving. I certainly hope that is not the case.

As for "This Week in NASCAR", I don't share Mr. Daly's enthusiasm.

Gwyneth said...

I was so glad to see Schrader back in the latest TWIN and he is not going to be on this week? Is he going to be at least a part timer? If he isn't on with Mikey the show will be BORING.

Newracefan said...

I am excited to hear what Chad and Mikey have to say about yesterdays race. The 55 and 48 ran together for most of the day and even went to the front together. Perhaps they can tell us what happened with that last lap crash because I still am confused and they were both involved.

Anonymous said...

The David Poole/Angelique Chengelis NASCAR Now show last Monday was very good. However, I thought the previous two or three NASCAR Now Monday shows were rather mediocre and I was beginning to get bored by this program. Hopefully they'll be back on their game again.

I still believe - except for an occasional roundtable like last week's Sports Reporters version - the panel needs to mainly consist of Bestwick, Rusty Wallace, Brad D., and Mike Massaro. They had the best chemistry and chemistry is a big part of making a show like this work.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again, since ESPN doesn't seem like it's listening. I'll keep saying it until they get it in their heads, because I don't think I'm the only NASCAR fan who feels this way.

If Ray Evernham is on an ESPN TV show, I'm not going to watch it.

Amy/HarpAmy in FL said...

I agree with Newracefan that it will be interesting to hear how the 55 and 48 were able to team up all day. I wondered if that teaming up was a result of Chad and Mikey being on TWIN this year and the mutual respect that they have for each other. I wonder if Chad told Jimmie to throw Mikey a bone. Just wondering??? I thought that was an interesting pairing. I thank Jimmie for his helping Mikey. I am an unashamed Mikey fan.

Thank you Jimmie for helping Mikey all day.


Anonymous said...

NASCAR Now will be broadcast live from North Carolina Tuesday.

ESPN's "NASCAR Now" will broadcast a special one-hour show live from Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Tuesday, April 29 from 6-7pm/et. The show will highlight Tuesday's annual Dale Earnhardt Day event that honors the birthday of the seven-time NASCAR Champion and serves as a major benefit for the Dale Earnhardt Foundation.

Anonymous said...

Ray wants NASCAR to implement a lot of rules that he wouldn't want if his team was top dog. That's the bottom line.

He guested on Trackside end of last season saying NASCAR needed to make a rule that large teams have to financially compensate smaller teams for hiring the smaller teams' crew guys. One of the dumbest things I've heard of in my life.

He was just mad because a bunch of his crew guys quit last season and went to teams like Gibbs, Red Bull, and Hendrick this season. If you can't keep your people, whose fault is that? Not NASCAR's. I will be curious to hear his take on Tony tonight, though.

Better yet, I'll listen to Sirius to see what Tony has to say on his own show.

Newracefan said...

Amy, I listen to JJ's scanner during races and Chad was less than complimentary about the 55 last season. I have not heard any of that negativity this season, perhaps better cars and working with him on TWIN has changed things. Makes it easier for me because I am a fan of both

SophiaZ123 said...

Well for my two cents, if TWIN and SPEED is STUPID enough to continue their LETS FORCE the NEXT race on the fans tonight, that show is so over.

Many were upset on WT about the calls and Kyle B winning as he was below the yellow line...pushed by JJ or not.

Talladega's camera work was the WORST for any Fox race I have seen and no reviews in the long post show.

BTW, I thought the post race show was almost useless.

So, I will watch NASCAR NOW and I already know how the TWIN review will go...JD is much more patient and complimentary on that show than most people (and YES I have let go it is NOTHING like INC)

But the show will start out with 3 minutes of chit chat then come to a screeching halt as they discuss the short track coming up. By the time they get to Dega, most will have turned to news shows or Dancing With the Stars. :)

Vince said...

JD, JD, JD......

Byrnes, Mikey and Knaus are Speed's A Team? That's a stretch!

But I do agree ESPN's line up tonight should be one of their better ones.

DVR'n it to watch later, NN that is. I don't waste my DVR space on TWIN.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Monday NASCAR Now. Just refresh your browser. Thanks.


Anonymous said...
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SophiaZ123 said...
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Daly Planet Editor said...

There will be a new post up shortly about the TWIN show for Monday after Talladega.

Please read the rules on the right side of the main page before posting.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I agree with you about N-Now, but TWIN does NOT have the A team on unless Ken Schrader is there - but last week Mikey was over the top even with Ken S there.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Monday edition of TWIN. Just refresh your browser.