Showtime has named Cris Collinsworth, James Brown and Phil Simms as the hosts of Inside the NFL, which will debut on the network Sept. 10. But multiple sources say the network is also considering a fourth spot, one that could rotate to different personalities each week.
That would be in line with what CBS Sports chief Sean McManus told B&C (June 9) when he said he envisioned four hosts, with two of them coming from CBS Sports.
While CBS Sports mainstays Brown and Simms are new to Inside the NFL, Collinsworth has been on the show since 1989.
“We felt that Cris, together with Phil and JB, would have the strongest chemistry on the set,” says Ken Hershman, Showtime senior VP and general manger of sports and event programming.
Inside the NFL was intercepted by Showtime after being cancelled by rival HBO, its home since 1977, following this year's Super Bowl.
Brown is currently host of The NFL Today on CBS and is a correspondent for Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel on HBO. Simms joined CBS Sports in 1998 as the network's lead analyst for The NFL on CBS. Collinsworth also works for NBC and the NFL Network.
“This team gelled kind of quickly when we went through the options,” Hershman adds. “JB and Phil Simms have the advantage of coming from the CBS family, and Cris has the advantage of having been with the program. We feel that we have probably the best three guys out there.”
McManus and NFL Films' Steve Sabol will be executive producers.