SBD/July 19, 2012/Media

Paging Carnac: ESPNU To Debut Net's First Late-Night Show Next Month

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ESPN will officially make its foray into the late-night television circuit on August 27 with the introduction of "UNite." The entertainment show will air nightly on ESPNU at midnight ET Monday-Friday. The show will be broadcast live from the net’s Bristol, Conn., studios with three hosts touching on subjects from social media and video-driven sports of the day. "UNite" has tapped 35 journalism schools, expanding upon ESPNU’s existing Campus Connection program, as the show’s “School Board” to provide insights from around the college sports scene on breaking news and trending topics (ESPNU). ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’s Jeff Labrecque noted the hour-long show is “geared towards the college-aged male sports fan.” The hosts have not been named, but "UNite" Coordinating Producer Yaron Deskalo said that at least one “familiar ESPN face” will be on the show. There will be “guests ... a sofa, and a DJ, but nothing else about the late-night paradigm is sacred.” Deskalo said, “Our goals are to be different. We want to create something on television that doesn’t exist anywhere else. I think the main way we’ll be able to find out if we’re successful is how viral we are.” Labrecque wrote "UNite" is “conventional in the sense that it aspires to be a showcase for star talent, but it’s also keen on developing its own.” Deskalo added, “We aren’t necessarily looking for the next 'SportsCenter' anchor. We’re looking almost for the next media star.” The show’s launch date coincides with “students heading back to campus, and more importantly, the kick-off of college football season” (EW.com, 7/18).
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