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TV Bulletin Board (Wed., July 17) -- Olbermann bouncing back to ESPN


You just can’t keep a good malcontent down.

Keith Olbermann will be returning to the network that made him a highly volatile star, ESPN announced Wednesday.

Beginning August 26th, the former SportsCenter co-anchor will join ESPN2 as the sole proprietor of Olbermann, to be scheduled weeknights at 10 p.m. (central).

Olbermann was with ESPN from 1992-’97 before leaving under less than ideal circumstances. In the years since he has worked for Fox Sports Net, MSNBC, NBC and Current TV.

“Keith is a one-of-a-kind personality and these shows will be appointment viewing for that very reason,” ESPN president John Skipper said in a publicity release. Keith brings a blend of editorial sophistication and unpredictability. You can never be sure what you’ll get.”

Olbermann, who settled dueling lawsuits with Current TV earlier this year, said he is “overwhelmed by the chance to begin anew with ESPN . . . Our histories are indelibly intertwined and frankly I have long wished that I had the chance to make sure the totality of that story would be a completely positive one. I’m grateful to friends and bosses -- old and new -- who have permitted that opportunity to come to pass. I’m not going to waste it.”

Olbermann recently got another new job -- as the studio host of this fall’s post-season baseball courage on TBS. For his second coming On ESPN, he reportedly has agreed not to talk about politics. The network says that Olbermann “will focus on the day’s relevant sports topics through a mix of perspective and commentary, interviews, contributors, panel discussions and highlights.”

***Showtime has renewed its new crime drama series Ray Donovan for a second season after its recent premiere episode set a ratings record for the network, according to Showtime. Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight are the principal stars.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

TV Bulletin Board (Mon., July 15) -- Jenny McCarthy new to The View


Jenny McCarthy showcases “warmth and humor,” etc. VH1 photo

Prevalent rumors that Jenny McCarthy would join The View came true Monday when ABC officially announced her as Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s replacement.

Barbara Walters, the daytime talker’s executive producer and grande dame, said in a publicity release that McCarthy “brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor. She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view.”

McCarthy, who first came to prominence in the pages and videos of Playboy, has made 17 previous appearances on The View, eight as a guest co-host by ABC’s count.

“I’m beyond thrilled to be joining Barbara and the other amazing women at the table,” McCarthy said. “I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter, and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off.”

McCarthy will be leaving her late night night talk show on VH1to join The View this September. The show’s additions and attractions aren’t yet finished, though. Charter panelist Joy Behar has announced she’ll be leaving the show later this summer. And Walters herself is planning to retire from ABC next summer.

Hasselbeck left the The View earlier this month to become a co-host of the early morning Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel. She’ll also start in September.

***HBO has renewed True Blood for a seventh season. The ongoing Season 6 began on June 26th.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net