HBO is tapping Fox sportscaster Joe Buck to host a new sports based talk show for the pay cabler. The move by HBO comes just a day after the network lost its longtime face of sports coverage Bob Costas to MLB Network.
Development of the new show is still very early in the process and will debut in May. While it will be sports based, Buck says the show will also feature comedy sketches and elements.
HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg also says he expects to keep the live audience and town hall format utilized in Bob Costas' signature program, Costas Now. Greenburg says the network is expecting to run four, 90-minute episodes a year once it gets up and running.
“I am floored by the opportunity, flattered and so excited, I don’t even think my wife believes I am going to HBO,” Buck said on a conference call with reporters.
Buck isn’t entirely a stranger to the format. As reported by B&C, he hosted a pilot for a late night talk show on Fox.
“It was a little different, and not what a network wanted in a late night show,” Buck said. “I am very fortunate that it ended up the way it did, because I could go to HBO which is a little freer and a little more liberating and lets me do things I couldn’t do on a network.”
The network is still working with Buck to develop the show’s subject matter and content, as well as a name.
“I suggested to Ross that we keep [the name] Costas Now,” Buck quipped.
“I was thinking more like Joe the Broadcaster or Joe The Plumber,” Greenburg replied.
Greenburg says that he and Buck had been talking about developing a show for a couple of years, originating when Buck was recording the voiceovers for the HBO Movie 61*. Greenburg told Buck that if a slot opened up they would pursue it more seriously, and with the departure of Costas, the opportunity presented itself.
Buck will continue to be the face of Fox Sports’ football and baseball coverage while hosting his HBO show. The network plans to schedule the new show around his busy schedule.