SBD/Issue 41/Sports Media

Kenny Mayne's Online Series "Mayne Street" Debuts On ESPN.com

ESPN's Kenny Mayne Launches
Online Humor Series Today
“Mayne Street,” the project of longtime ESPN on-air personality Kenny Mayne, premiered on ESPN.com today. The online humor series chronicles a fictionalized account of his life working for the network. Produced in a deadpan humor style not unlike “The Office” or some of Larry David’s work, the video segments will run about two to six minutes each and appear on the site over the next two months. The project, at one point contemplated for one of ESPN’s TV networks, fell to the back burner and then resurrected itself last year during Mayne’s contract renewal talks. “I brought it up again, and [ESPN Exec VP/Content John] Skipper said let’s just go for it online and get right into production, since that's where so many people are watching anyway,” Mayne said. “This has been an absolute blast, more fun than anything I’ve done at ESPN.” Mayne has continued do his feature work for ESPN during production of “Mayne Street,” essentially trading in his slots on “SportsCenter” to produce the segments (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). Mayne said, "I’ve been calling it like a poor man’s Larry David. It’s Larry David meets 10% Christopher Guest meets PBS’ ‘Frontline.’ It doesn’t matter. It’s three-and-a-half minutes long. Just watch it. What else are you going to do?" ("Mike & Mike in the Morning," ESPN2, 11/11). At presstime, the debut episode was the main story on ESPN.com (THE DAILY).

MAYNE STREET PLAYERS: TUBEFILTER's Lindsay Stidham reported Mayne in the show is "surrounded by a venerable cast of characters who have been in the comedy game for a long time." The show is "scripted but leaves room for plenty of improvisation -- which suits Mayne perfectly" (TUBEFILTER.tv, 11/10). Mayne said that the show also will include "special guest appearances," including Celtics G Ray Allen, celebrity chef Bobby Flay and actor Dominic Chianese. Filmmaker Josh Shelov, who is working with Mayne on the show, said, "Originally we wanted it to be a full 30 minute TV show, but in order to speed up production ESPN turned it into a web series. The medium of the day is the Internet and we are happy to be a part of that" (THELANTERN.com, 11/10). 

PERFECT MATCH: TV WEEK's Jon Lafayette reported ESPN has secured Vicks NyQuil as a presenting sponsor for "Mayne Street" (TVWEEK.com, 11/9). AD AGE's Larry Dobrow reported Starcom MediaVest Group "played matchmaker" for NyQuil and ESPN "early in the developmental process." NyQuil officials "enjoyed considerable access during production, to the extent that ESPN put together an early rough cut of the series for sponsor approval." Vicks Assistant Brand Manager Jason Partin: "We got to see them in execution, rather than just on the page, and weigh in at that point. That was important to us" (ADAGE.com, 11/10).

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