Beginning today, ESPN2 offers Cold Pizza, a live weekday morning show focusing on sports and pop-culture news, to test whether sports-centric viewers want something new or are content with SportsCenter
repeats on the mother network.
The show originates from a sparkling new studio located near Manhattan's Madison Square Garden and resembling a hip apartment. The attractive young cast dishes on sports and lifestyle segments à la ABC's The View
and Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends. There's even a weatherman.
Originally slated for early October, the launch was delayed a few weeks to coincide with ESPN2's 10th anniversary and to allow talent to be put in place. Cold Pizza
is among ESPN's efforts to lure casual fans with entertainment fare like its existing football drama Playmakers
and reality show Dream Job,
due in February.
co-hosts Kit Hoover and Jay Crawford are joined by news anchor Leslie Maxie and reporter Thea Andrews.
Consulting producer Steve Friedman (Today
show executive producer during the '80s) says ESPN is trying to offer a fun morning alternative. "Other programs have become very structured."