LOS ANGELES (AP) – The trading of Super Bowls by CBS and NBC is one of the rare situations either network could benefit from.
Under the usual rotation, NBC originally had this year’s game from Tampa and CBS held rights in Los Angeles until 2022. But in 2019, the networks and the NFL agreed to change. The reason was simple: CBS didn’t want the game to play against NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
While NBC gets an Olympic / Super Bowl double header next year, CBS gets one of the best quarterback matchups in the game’s 55-year history on Sunday, with Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers battling Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs.
“After getting a matchup between Brady and Mahomes, I’d make that trade every year,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. “If you had asked us in September, what is the dream match? It would have been this one. It is almost too much to hope for, but we got it. ”
The matchup is also the linchpin for a program day that has been planned for over a year – and in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Many may think that the organization of a network’s Super Bowl coverage is primarily the responsibility of the sports department, but news, entertainment, and other departments are also involved. This is also the first chance since the ViacomCBS merger was completed 15 months ago to demonstrate the cooperation between many corporate divisions.
“Of course it’s a great day for the sport, but it really is a great day for the entire network,” said Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment. “On the day of the Super Bowl, 100 million people come and you try to get as many of them as possible to stay on a new show or introduce or strengthen an existing show. Every few years we are lucky enough to have that. “
The Super Bowl Today pregame show not only includes Norah O’Donnell’s interview with President Joe Biden and James Corden, host of The Weeknd’s Late Late Show, but also features from Showtime’s Desus and Mero. , Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” and Nickelodeon’s “Unfiltered” game show.
Coordinating producer Drew Kaliski has been planning features since April, but there have been changes until this week as well. When Tampa Bay first hit the game when a team was playing a Super Bowl on their home field, Kaliski began brainstorming. It will introduce Tampa Bay fans who have all three of their professional sports teams played for a championship in the past six months.
With the COVID-19 logs still in place – meaning no visits to team complexes – and a blizzard that occurred in New York earlier this week, Kaliski was delighted to be able to conduct remote interviews.
“We were able to set up our Studio 43 in New York as the base for the interviews, which looks phenomenal,” said Kaliski. “With all the obstacles we had to face, I never thought we would make it. And I’m a pretty positive guy. I think the human effort and technology out there right now is mind blowing to think about, but it just works perfectly. “
“Christmas came early”
After a crazy multi-year stretch of a pandemic, political campaign like no other, and the transition to a new government, CBS News is given the opportunity to focus on an event that Susan Zirinsky, president of the division, calls “almost spiritual in the World ”means American population. “
The news division has posted posts on shows and delivery to partners throughout the week, but the most anticipated post will be Biden’s first seated interview since he took office.
“Christmas came early,” Zirinsky said of the network that landed the first interview with Biden, which was held on Friday. “The presidential interview is a tradition. What appears on the pregame show is unique. It’s more of a conversation. This is the President’s first interview and a chance for him to touch America. “
Discussions about which show to air after the Super Bowl are typically suspended until the fall television season begins in late September. With most CBS shows only airing new episodes in November due to production delays during the pandemic, Kahl said they didn’t settle for “The Equalizer” until December.
“We want to get as much information and feedback as possible before we make this decision and understand the ripple effects this has across the company,” he said.
The series starring Queen Latifah has been on the network’s plans for some time, but production has been delayed due to the pandemic. It’s a reinterpretation of the classic CBS show that aired for four seasons, as well as two films starring Denzel Washington.
“When we saw a first segment of the show, we liked it and we realized that it would have a very broad appeal. This is an ideal candidate to leave a game like this behind, ”said Kahl.
A special episode of “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” gives casual viewers the chance to see how a show known for its monologues on the presidency of Donald Trump has changed.
“I think we haven’t said Trump’s name since he wasn’t elected. So this is an opportunity to really double that for people who may not have checked us out in a while, “said executive producer and showrunner Chris Licht. “We’ve done a lot on the show that has nothing to do with Trump, and we’re going to really highlight that side of Stephen because that’s where we really are as a show.”
The show will feature Robert Downey Jr., Tiffany Haddish, and Metallica. Licht said when they put on a show after the Super Bowl two years ago, the rating data showed that new or first-time viewers would be there for the next two to three weeks.
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