SBJ/September 18 - 24, 2006/This Weeks News

Speed renews Earnhardt’s ‘Back in the Day,’ plans DVD

“Back in the Day,” the Speed show hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr., has been renewed for a second season.

Speed also plans a release of the show’s first season on DVD in November.

“Back in the Day,” which enjoyed marginal ratings success in its first season, is a 30-minute program that looks at racing’s past with the help of vintage footage from Speed’s extensive archive. Earnhardt Jr., who came up with the concept and took it to Speed, offers his own insights into old-school racing throughout the program.

“There are so many new fans to NASCAR and many of them don’t know the pioneers of the sport,” said J.R. Rhodes, director of entertainment for Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports. “A lot of these guys go back two generations. They started it all, and that’s something that is very important to [Earnhardt].”

“Back in the Day” is a racing show conceived and hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Erik Arneson, vice president of media relations at Speed, said “Back in the Day” averaged about 250,000 households in its first season, airing on various nights of the week and weekends. Speed’s top shows, such as its prerace telecasts, reach more than 600,000 households.

“It wasn’t a runaway hit,” Arneson said. “It’s an average performer, but it is a connection to the most popular driver in the sport. … He’s a fan of these old races and he grew up around the participants. The idea now is to try to connect the older audience with the younger audience, which we tried to do with pop-up videos that showed what else was going on in that era.”

Season two, which will begin in February, will feature more interaction between Earnhardt Jr. and drivers such as David Pearson, Richard Petty and Bobby Allison who are featured in the old races.

The DVD will include all 13 episodes from the first season and cost $24.95. Year two also is scheduled for 13 episodes.

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