Fox NFL Sunday

Fox NFL Sunday is an American sports television program on Fox that debuted on September 4, 1994, and serves as the pre-game show for the network's National Football League game telecasts under the Fox NFL brand. An audio simulcast of the program airs on sister radio network Fox Sports Radio, which is distributed by Premiere Radio Networks. As of 2014, the program has won four Emmy Awards.

Fox NFL Sunday
Fox-nfl-sunday-2014
GenreNFL pre-game show
Presented byCurt Menefee
Terry Bradshaw
Howie Long
Michael Strahan
Jimmy Johnson
Jay Glazer
Pam Oliver
Mike Pereira
Rob Riggle
(for past hosts, see article)
Theme music composerScott Schreer
Composer(s)Scott Schreer
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons24
Production
Production location(s)Fox Network Center
Los Angeles
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Fox Sports
DistributorFox Corporation
Release
Original networkFox
Picture format480i (SDTV),
480p upconverted (HDTV)
(downconverted to letterboxed 4:3 on SDTV feed since 2009)
Original releaseSeptember 4, 1994 –
present
Chronology
Related showsFox NFL Kickoff
External links
Website

History

1994–1997

Fox NFL Sunday debuted on September 4, 1994, when Fox inaugurated its NFL game broadcasts through the network's recently acquired broadcast rights to the National Football Conference;[1] it was originally hosted by James Brown, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson (both Brown and Bradshaw had joined the network from CBS to help helm Fox's NFL coverage). The program was notable in being the first hour-long NFL pregame show on a broadcast television network; network pregame programs that existed beforehand, such as CBS' The NFL Today or NBC's NFL Live!, aired as 30-minute broadcasts. Fox's show also adopted a looser, more irreverent approach than its predecessors in order to also appeal to the network's younger-skewing audiences.

During Johnson's initial season on Fox NFL Sunday, he would often join the show via satellite from his home in Florida. There was much speculation that Jimmy Johnson would return to coaching during the first year of the program's run. Prior to the end of the year, Johnson made an "announcement", saying he was happy with his new career in broadcasting. But in 1996, he left the program to become head coach of the Miami Dolphins; Ronnie Lott was brought in to succeed him, and stayed with the program for two seasons.

During Jimmy Johnson's initial run on the show, the opening introduction would typically feature a comedic skit involving several or all of the hosts.

On-location broadcast sites

Week Location
Week 3 (1997)
(September 14)
FedExField (Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins)
Week 4 (1997)
(September 21)
Lambeau Field (Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers)[2]
Week 6 (1997)
(October 5)
Lambeau Field (Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers)[3]
Week 13 (1997)
(November 23)
Lambeau Field (Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers)[2]
Divisional Playoffs (1998)
(January 4)
Lambeau Field (Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers)[2]

1998–2002

In 1998, on the heels of NBC losing the broadcast rights to the NFL's American Football Conference division to CBS, Cris Collinsworth joined Fox NFL Sunday as an analyst – subsequently replacing Ronnie Lott.

During this period, promotional claymation spots and teases became a popular fixture on the program, in which the four hosts were depicted as animated characters in live-action situations, usually starring real-life NFL players. Beginning with the 1999 season, comedian Jimmy Kimmel (then the co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Win Ben Stein's Money) began making weekly game predictions and performing comedy skits on the show; the following year, Jillian Barberie (then the weather anchor/co-host of Los Angeles Fox owned-and-operated station KTTV's Good Day L.A.) was added to the program to provide weather forecasts for each week's game sites.

On-location broadcast sites

Week Location
Week 1 (1998)
(September 6)
Giants Stadium (Washington Redskins at New York Giants)[4]
Week 7 (1999)
(October 24)
(Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys)[5]
Week 15 (1999)
(December 19)
RCA Dome (Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts)
NFC Championship (2000)
(January 10)
Trans World Dome (Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams)
Week 17 (2000)
(December 24)
On board the USS Harry S. Truman
NFC Championship (2001)
(January 7)
Giants Stadium (Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants)
Week 3 (2002)
(September 22)
Ford Field (Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions; inaugural game at Ford Field)[6]

2002–2005

Cris Collinsworth left the program in 2002, when he was promoted to Fox's newly formed "A Team" of NFL game announcers, alongside Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (replacing Pat Summerall and John Madden). Fox produced several promos featuring Buck, Collinsworth and Aikman dressed as characters from the popular 1980s action series of the same name to promote the network's NFL coverage.

Initially, the vacated fourth seat was to feature a rotating series of guest analysts, with Jimmy Johnson returning in Week 1. John Elway sat in during Week 2. For Week 3, Johnson returned, and took over the position permanently (he remains on the program to this day). Jimmy Kimmel left the program after the 2002 season a month before the premiere of his late-night talk show on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He was replaced by comedian Frank Caliendo – at the time, a cast member on Fox's late night sketch comedy series MADtv – who had previously guest starred during Kimmel's skits (performing his well-known impersonation of John Madden). Caliendo's prognostication skits began to feature his various spot-on celebrity impersonations, including Madden, Jay Leno, Jim Rome and George W. Bush, as well as show hosts Brown, Bradshaw, Long and Johnson. James Brown left the program after the 2005 season, in order to return to CBS to host its rival pregame show The NFL Today.

On-location broadcast sites

Date Location (Game)
Week 8 (2003)
(October 26)
Heinz Field (St. Louis Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers)[7]
Week 6 (2004)
(October 17)
Gillette Stadium (Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots)[8]

2005 was the last season in which Fox (along with CBS) aired Saturday afternoon NFL games towards the end of the regular season in December. On these occasions, Fox would precede its coverage with a studio pregame show titled Fox NFL Saturday, which had no change in format outside of the day in the title.

2006–2007

On August 13, 2006, Fox announced that Joe Buck and Curt Menefee would succeed James Brown as hosts of the program. Because Buck was already serving as the lead play-by-play announcer for the NFL on Fox game broadcasts, each week's edition of Fox NFL Sunday was broadcast from the site of the network's top game of the week, in a move similar to Fox's NASCAR coverage, in which the pre-race show is telecast from the site of that week's race. Menefee hosted the halftime and postgame segments on location with the Fox NFL Sunday crew. Chris Rose served as the update host during game breaks. As a result of Buck going on assignment for Fox's MLB postseason coverage, Menefee substituted for Buck as the full-time host from Hollywood. During Weeks 6 through 8, while the show broadcast from Hollywood, Jillian Reynolds (née Barberie) returned as weather anchor for the game-day forecast segments.

During Weeks 16 and 17, Buck served as the full-time host from Hollywood, with the rest of the Fox NFL Sunday crew. Dick Stockton took over as the main play-by-play analyst alongside Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver, while Menefee returned to the booth as secondary play-by-play analyst alongside Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa. Though the show returned to Hollywood for two weeks, Jillian Reynolds was absent, presumably having gone on maternity leave, as she was pregnant with her first child at the time.

During Wild Card weekend, Menefee substituted for Buck as host of the Hollywood-originated pregame show broadcast. Meanwhile, Buck called the January 7, 2007 game between the New York Giants at the Philadelphia Eagles. During the Divisional Playoffs, Menefee once again substituted for Joe Buck as host, as the pregame show again originated from Hollywood for both games. Stockton called the Saturday, January 13 game between the Philadelphia Eagles at the New Orleans Saints and Buck called the Sunday, January 14 game between the Seattle Seahawks at the Chicago Bears.

For the NFC Championship Game between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears on January 21, 2007, Joe Buck hosted the pregame show with the Fox NFL Sunday crew on location from Soldier Field. After Buck joined Aikman for play-by-play duties, Menefee took over as host for the remainder of the game and hosted the halftime and postgame shows. Terry Bradshaw handled the trophy ceremony during the postgame show.

2006–2007 on-location broadcast sites

Week Location (Game)
Preseason Week 1
(August 14, 2006)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A (Colts at Rams)
Preseason Week 2
(August 18, 2006)
Giants Stadium (Chiefs at Giants)
Preseason Week 3
(August 24, 2006)
(Dolphins at Panthers)
Week 2
(September 17, 2006)
Alltel Stadium (Cowboys at Jaguars)
Week 3
(September 24, 2006)
Lincoln Financial Field (Giants at Eagles)
Week 4 (Saturday)
(September 30, 2006)
Qwest Field (Giants at Seahawks)
Week 4 (Sunday)
(October 1, 2006)
Bank of America Stadium (Saints at Panthers)
Week 5
(October 8, 2006)
Lincoln Financial Field (Cowboys at Eagles)
Week 6
(October 15, 2006)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
Week 7
(October 22, 2006)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
Week 8
(October 29, 2006)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
Week 9
(November 5, 2006)
FedExField (Cowboys at Redskins)
Week 10
(November 12, 2006)
Heinz Field (Saints at Steelers)
Week 11
(November 19, 2006)
Giants Stadium (Bears at Jets)
Week 12 (Thanksgiving)
(November 23, 2006)
Texas Stadium (Buccaneers at Cowboys)
Week 12 (Sunday)
(November 26, 2006)
Gillette Stadium (Bears at Patriots)
Week 13
(December 3, 2006)
Giants Stadium (Cowboys at Giants)
Week 14
(December 10, 2006)
Bank of America Stadium (Giants at Panthers)
Week 15
(December 17, 2006)
Giants Stadium (Eagles at Giants)
Week 16
(December 24, 2006)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
Week 17
(December 31, 2006)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
NFC Wild Card Playoff (Sunday)
(January 7, 2007)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
NFC Divisional Playoff (Saturday)
(January 13, 2007)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
NFC Divisional Playoff (Sunday)
(January 14, 2007)
Fox Hollywood Studio 2A
NFC Championship Game
(January 21, 2007)
Soldier Field (Saints at Bears)

2007–present

In March 2007, it was announced that the program (then branded on-air as The Built Ford Tough Fox NFL Sunday, via a sponsorship agreement with Ford Motor Company)[9] would resume studio broadcasts for the 2007 season, with Curt Menefee assuming full-time hosting duties and Joe Buck reverting to play-by-play only. Jillian Reynolds, who was coming off maternity leave, returned full-time as the program's weather anchor. However, the pre-game show was on-site at Lambeau Field for the 2007 NFC Championship Game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers and at Super Bowl XLII.

For the 2007 season, Fox NFL Sunday introduced a new feature, a pre-recorded segment titled "Grumpy Old Coaches", in which Jimmy Johnson and fellow former Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer discuss the past week in football. A segment of highlights and commentary of the previous day's college football games was also featured, as a gesture to Fox's then recent acquisition of broadcast rights to the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). This segment was dropped following the 2007 season.

On June 24, 2008, it was announced that former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan would join the show as an analyst.[10] On November 8, 2009, a special two-hour edition of the program was broadcast on-location from Afghanistan, featuring an audience of U.S. soldiers. While the regular Fox NFL Sunday crew did the pregame show, Chris Rose served as the studio host and anchored the in-game highlights, as John Lynch and Trent Green served as studio analysts for the halftime and post-game reports during the broadcast. On January 24, 2010, Fox NFL Sunday broadcast on-location from New Orleans for the 2009 NFC Championship.

On January 23, 2011, Fox NFL Sunday also broadcast an on-location edition at Soldier Field in Chicago for the 2010 NFC Championship; the program held its Super Bowl XLV pregame show in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011.

Starting with the 2011 NFL season, the show introduced a new feature called "Fox :45", which is usually formatted a sing-along parody of a famous song, or as a comedic sketch. The parodies and sketches usually relate to current events occurring during the football season. The program also introduced the "Twitter Tracker", which scrolls tweets from NFL players and coaches.

On August 2, 2012, Frank Caliendo announced on his official Twitter account that he would not return to Fox NFL Sunday as a prognosticator for the 2012 season;[11] comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Rob Riggle was eventually named as his replacement.[12]

On September 11, 2016, Fox NFL Sunday was broadcast on location in Houston (the host city of Super Bowl LI) for the start of the 2016 NFL season. This also marked Curt Menefee's tenth season as full-time host of the pregame show. While the crew did the pregame, halftime and post-game shows, Charissa Thompson (host of Fox NFL Kickoff) served as the studio host and anchored the in-game highlights.

On-air staff

Current on-air staff

Fox NFL Sunday team at Bagram Airfield 2009-11-07 2
Menefee, Bradshaw, Long, Strahan, Johnson, and Glazer at Bagram Airfield in November 2009.

Former on-air staff

On-air staff chart

Season Studio host Studio analysts Prognosticator
1994 James Brown Terry Bradshaw Howie Long Jimmy Johnson
1995
1996 Ronnie Lott
1997
1998 Cris Collinsworth
1999 Jimmy Kimmel
2000
2001
2002 Jimmy Johnson
2003 Frank Caliendo
2004
2005
2006 Joe Buck (pregame host)
Curt Menefee (halftime host)
2007 Curt Menefee Barry Switzer
2008 Michael Strahan
2009
2010
2011
2012 Rob Riggle
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018

Cleatus the Robot

"Cleatus the Robot" is a CGI-animated character that serves as the official mascot for Fox NFL Sunday; it was named through a viewer contest held in the winter of 2007, in which fans were asked to submit entries to select the robot's name. Cleatus made his first appearance on the program during the 2005–06 NFL season, but was not used regularly until the following season.

Cleatus mainly appears during the opening sequence of the program, as well as during end-of-break sponsorship tags within the program and during game telecasts, certain identifications for Fox Sports used to close sports broadcasts and as a cue to Fox stations to air local advertisements during commercial breaks, and brief promotions for movies and television series. In the latter instance, he commonly gets attacked by a CGI character from the subject of the advertisement (such as Iron Man, a dragon from the movie Eragon, a T-1000 robot from the Fox drama Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and The Burger King, who taunted Cleatus by throwing objects at him). Cleatus is also seen doing various things such as hopping on two feet, playing an electric guitar, shaking out his limbs, and performing dance moves such as The Swim and the Electric Slide; during the Fox broadcast of a Denver Broncos game on December 11, 2011, he also Tebowed (the kneeling prayer position popularized by former Broncos player Tim Tebow).

Games aired on the weekend following New Year's Day typically show Cleatus sitting on a bench holding an ice pack to his head, as if nursing a hangover. During the MLB postseason in October until the conclusion of the World Series (both of which air on Fox), the character is also seen taking baseballs from a basket and hitting them with a bat towards the background. Cleatus is usually replaced with a robotic turkey during Fox's Thanksgiving NFL game broadcasts.

Fox has since manufactured an action figure of the character, which it sells on the Fox Sports website,[13] available in the character's normal appearance as well as in special uniforms customized for all 32 NFL franchises.

In response to the creation of Cleatus, Fox Sports created Digger, an animated gopher mascot for Fox NASCAR telecasts; the character was originally seen only during the races when the in-track cameras knowns as the "Digger Cam" were shown, but his role soon expanded. Unlike Cleatus, however, Digger was not well received by fans, and sparked an internet and Twitter outcry for his removal from the broadcast. While Digger was featured heavily in 2009, he only made cameo appearances in 2010 before being phased out completely the following year. Starting in 2014 Frank Krimel is the driver of Fox Sports 1 Cleatus competing in Monster Jam.

Cleatus was included in an episode of The Simpsons, "The Spy Who Learned Me", and in sketches on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, which was until October 2018 owned by 21st Century Fox, uses a modified version of the Cleatus opening sequence and sponsorship tags with their own branding.

See also

References

  1. ^ CBS, NBC Battle for AFC Rights // Fox Steals NFC Package, Chicago Sun-Times (via HighBeam Research), December 18, 1993.
  2. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2] Archived January 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [3] Archived November 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "NFL Marketing Notes: Fox To Broadcast From Ford Field – SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal | SportsBusiness Daily Global". SportsBusiness Daily. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  7. ^ Bouchette, Ed (October 16, 2003). "Steelers Report: 10/16/03". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  8. ^ Griffith, Bill (October 17, 2004). "It's a road game for the Fox team". The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ "Ford Suits Up for Online Fantasy Football". Ford.com. September 10, 2007. Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  10. ^ NFL.com
  11. ^ a b Caliendo, Frank. "To all my fans who've ben asking-I wont be back atFOX this season.I love those guys,but its time 4 my next venture". Twitter. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Rob Riggle set to replace Frank Caliendo on Fox NFL pregame". USA Today. August 27, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  13. ^ "Cleatus – Fox Sports Robot". FoxSports.com. Retrieved October 23, 2011.

External links

26th Sports Emmy Awards

The 26th Sports Emmy Awards honoring American sports coverage in 2004 were presented on May 2, 2005 at Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City. The nominees were announced on March 9.

29th Sports Emmy Awards

The 29th Sports Emmy Awards honoring American sports coverage in 2007 was presented on April 28, 2008 at Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City. The nominees were announced on March 13.

30th Sports Emmy Awards

The 30th Sports Emmy Awards were presented on April 27, 2009 in the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. The nominees were announced on April 2.

Curt Menefee

Curt Menefee (born July 22, 1965) is an American sportscaster who is currently the host of the Fox network's NFL show Fox NFL Sunday. His co-hosts are Jimmy Johnson, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, and Michael Strahan.

Fox NFL

Fox NFL (also known as NFL on Fox) is the branding used for broadcasts of National Football League (NFL) games produced by Fox Sports and televised on the Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox). Game coverage is usually preceded by the pre-game shows Fox NFL Kickoff and Fox NFL Sunday and is followed on most weeks by post-game show The OT. The latter two shows feature the same studio hosts and analysts for both programs, who also contribute to the former. In weeks when Fox airs a doubleheader, the late broadcast (which airs nationwide in nearly all markets, there typically being only one or two games taking place at the time) airs under the brand America's Game of the Week.

The network aired its inaugural NFL game telecast on August 12, 1994, with a preseason game between the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Coverage formally began the following month on September 4, with the premiere of Fox NFL Sunday, followed by a slate of six regionally televised regular season games on the first Sunday of the 1994 season.

Fox NFL Kickoff

Fox NFL Kickoff is an American sports television program that originally debuted on Fox Sports 1 on September 8, 2013, and moved to Fox Broadcasting Company on September 13, 2015, and serves as the secondary pre-game show for the network's National Football League game telecasts under the NFL on Fox brand.

The hour-long program – which airs Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time – focuses on news and analysis of the week's upcoming NFL games as well as interviews with NFL coaches and players, and live reports from sites for the network's game telecasts, serving as an extension of Fox's primary NFL pre-game show, Fox NFL Sunday, whose own analysts appear on certain segments seen on the program. An audio simulcast of the program airs on sister radio network Fox Sports Radio, which is distributed by Premiere Radio Networks.

Frank Caliendo

Frank Caliendo (born January 19, 1974) is an American comedian and impressionist, best known for his impersonations on the Fox Network television series MADtv, and as the in-house prognosticator for Fox NFL Sunday. Furthermore, he is a recurring guest on the Pardon My Take Podcast, presented by Barstool Sports. In 2007 and 2008, he performed his impersonations on his own show, Frank TV, which aired on TBS. He is known for his impressions and for his frequent appearances on The Bob & Tom Show. He has released six solo CDs. From 2009 to 2011 he had a show at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

James Brown (sportscaster)

James Talmadge Brown (born February 25, 1951), commonly called "J.B.", is an American sportscaster known for being the studio host of The James Brown Show, The NFL Today on CBS Sports, and Thursday Night Football on CBS Sports and NFL Network. He is also a Special Correspondent for CBS News. He is also known for serving as the former host of Fox Sports' NFL pregame show Fox NFL Sunday for eleven years.

Jill Arrington

Tiffany "Jill" Arrington (born July 27, 1972) is an American sportscaster and reporter with KCBS-TV and KCAL 9 in Los Angeles. She was previously a sports anchor at Fox Sports 1 and Fox SportsNet for five years, after being a sideline reporter on college football for ESPN during the 2004 college football season.

Jillian Barberie

Jillian Marie Barberie (née Warry; born September 26, 1966) is a Canadian-born American actress, television hostess, sportscaster and radio personality who currently co-hosts The Drive Home on 790 KABC in Los Angeles. From 1995 to 2012, she was a co-host on the popular Los Angeles television morning show Good Day L.A.. Concurrently, from 2000 to 2005, she appeared on Fox Sports as the weather girl for Fox NFL Sunday. From 2006 to 2013, she was known as Jillian Reynolds from her marriage.

Joe Buck

Joseph Francis Buck (born April 25, 1969) is an American sportscaster and the son of sportscaster Jack Buck. He has won numerous Sports Emmy Awards for his work with Fox Sports, including his roles as lead play-by-play announcer for the network's National Football League and Major League Baseball coverage, and is a three-time recipient of the National Sportscaster of the Year award. Since 1996, he has served as the play-by-play announcer for the World Series, each year, with the exceptions of 1997 and 1999. Since 2015, he's hosted Undeniable with Joe Buck on Audience Network.

Mad TV (season 11)

The eleventh season of Mad TV, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on the Fox Network between September 17, 2005, and May 20, 2006.

Spencer Kayden, Ron Pederson, Aries Spears, and Paul Vogt left at the end of season ten. Crista Flanagan, a featured player from season ten, was promoted to repertory status. One new repertory cast member, Arden Myrin, and two new featured cast members, Nicole Randall Johnson and Frank Caeti, were added to the cast. Stephnie Weir, who announced her departure at the end of season ten, agreed to film four new episodes' worth of material, which was spread throughout the first half of the season until Weir ended her 6-year run on Mad TV.

Season 11 showcased one of the youngest casts ever: except for Michael McDonald and Stephnie Weir, all cast members were born in the 1970s and joined Mad TV after the year 2000. The ethnic composition of the season 11 cast was also the most diverse in the show's history, with one Asian male, one Jewish male, three white males, two African-American males, two African-American females (the only season to do so), and four white females.

New sketches in season 11 included send-ups of Fox NFL Sunday, featuring Arden Myrin, Jordan Peele, Frank Caliendo, Frank Caeti, and Ike Barinholtz, and Ike and Bobby "On the Town" sketches, which were often shot on location. Nicole Parker introduced her first recurring character, The Disney Girl, a perky, happy young woman who tries to spread joy in city slums. The Disney Girl is also carefree yet naive and expresses her feelings by singing. (Parker won a Creative Arts Emmy for best lyrics in the Disney Girl sketch "Wonderfully Normal Day"). Daniele Gaither appeared as mumbling sociopath Yvonne Criddle and Crista Flanagan played Wendy Walker, a cooking show host who gets stressed out preparing meals. Myrin impersonated Hollywood's D-list celebrities such as Jillian Barberie in Fox NFL Sunday sketches; she also played nerdy craftsworkers Krista and Alana from Holly Meadow Estates. Johnson played characters like The Vancome Ladylike Ka-Son and impersonated celebrities like Star Jones, Queen Latifah, and Chris Rock. Frank Caeti impersonated Nick DiPaolo and former Dallas Cowboys coach-turned-Fox NFL Sunday-announcer Jimmy Johnson.

A variety of special guests this season were from sitcoms (Jeff Garlin, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris, Jaime Pressly, Michael Rapaport), wrestling organizations (John Cena), and past seasons of Mad TV (Jeff Probst, Pauly Shore, Fred Willard). Pamela Anderson, a celebrity lampooned by past cast members Mo Collins and Arden Myrin (and who hosted a season 22 episode of Mad TV's rival show, Saturday Night Live), made her first appearance on the sketch show's 250th episode.

Michael Strahan

Michael Anthony Strahan (; born November 21, 1971) is a former American football defensive end who spent his entire 15-year career with the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). Strahan set a record for the most sacks in a season in 2001, and helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLII over the New England Patriots in his final season in 2007. After retiring from the NFL, Strahan became a media personality. Strahan was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

He is currently a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, and co-host of ABC's Strahan and Sara. He was previously on the syndicated daytime talk show Live! with Kelly and Michael with co-host Kelly Ripa from 2012 to 2016, where he was a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner. In 2014, he became a regular contributor on morning show Good Morning America, and in 2016 the network announced that Strahan would be leaving Live! to join GMA on a full-time basis.

Outstanding Studio Show

The Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Studio Show was first awarded in 1988. One sports studio show, whether a pregame or a nightly news show, was honored each year. In 2001, the category was split into two subcategories — Outstanding Studio Show, Daily and Outstanding Studio Show, Weekly, thus awarding two shows annually.

Patrick O'Neal (sportscaster)

Patrick O'Neal (born September 14, 1967) is an American former actor, and current studio host/reporter for Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket.

Rob Riggle

Robert Allen Riggle Jr. (born April 21, 1970) is an American actor, comedian, and retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer. He worked as a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show from 2006 to 2008, as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2004 to 2005, and for his comedic roles in films such as The Hangover, The Other Guys, Let's Be Cops, Dumb & Dumber To, 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, and Step Brothers. He has also co-starred in the Adult Swim comedy-action series NTSF:SD:SUV::. In 2012, Riggle replaced Frank Caliendo for the comedy skit and prognostication portions of Fox NFL Sunday.

Sunday NFL Countdown

Sunday NFL Countdown is an American pregame television program that covers the NFL action for that week. The official name is Sunday NFL Countdown presented by Snickers. The show airs on ESPN, ESPN HD, TSN and TSN HD from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time every Sunday during the National Football League regular season. In Europe it is aired by ESPN America.

It is very similar to The NFL Today on CBS and Fox NFL Sunday, which airs on Fox. The show's former names include NFL GameDay from 1985 to 1995, NFL Countdown from 1996 to 1997, and since 1998, Sunday NFL Countdown (to demarcate from the Monday night version of the series). In 2006, the program introduced new graphics and a new logo to resemble the network's Monday Night Football logo.

Chris Berman had been the studio host since 1986 succeeding Bob Ley. Jack Youngblood was the first analyst. In 1987, he was replaced by Pete Axthelm and Tom Jackson.

The show's awards include seven Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Weekly Show (1988, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2003, and 2006 seasons) and five CableACE Awards (1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 seasons).

On September 7, 2014, which was the 35th anniversary of ESPN's launch, Sunday NFL Countdown debuted a brand-new studio inside Digital Center 2 of ESPN's main facilities in Bristol. With it, came a new logo and also, a new graphics package similar to that of SportsCenter. Like SportsCenter, a Helvetica font is used, but with the lower-thirds having white text on a black background, as opposed to black text on a white background. Starting September 8, every NFL show produced at ESPN now shares its new graphics, new logo, and a new set (except Monday Night Countdown, which itself shares the same graphics package and theme music as Monday Night Football).

On September 13, 2015, Sunday NFL Countdown was shortened from 3 hours to 2 hours, due to a new Sunday edition of NFL Insiders being aired in the 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET time slot. Therefore, Sunday NFL Countdown was moved down an hour to 11 a.m. ET. On September 10, 2017, Sunday NFL Countdown moved back to the 10 a.m. ET time slot and became a 3-hour program once again, resulting in the cancellation of NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition after 2 seasons.

The show usually originates from Bristol, but it originates in the city hosting the Super Bowl for its Super Bowl edition. On November 20, 2016, the show originated from Mexico City, which was hosting the Monday Night Football game the following night between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders. In January 2017, ESPN announced that Berman would leave the show at the end of the 2016-17 season, ending his 31-year tenure as host of this program. Berman was replaced with Samantha Ponder, who had previously co-hosted and contributed to College GameDay from 2012–2016.

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Paxton Bradshaw (born September 2, 1948) is a former American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). Since 1994, he has been a TV sports analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday. Bradshaw is also an actor, having participated in many television shows and films, most notably starring in the movie Failure to Launch. He played for 14 seasons with Pittsburgh, won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period (1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979), becoming the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility. Bradshaw was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

A tough competitor, Bradshaw is known for having one of the most powerful arms in NFL history. He also called his own plays throughout his football career. His physical skills and on-the-field leadership played a major role in the Pittsburgh Steelers' history. During his career, he passed for more than 300 yards in a game only seven times, but three of those performances came in the postseason, and two of those in Super Bowls. He played very well in the Super Bowl, and in four career Super Bowl appearances, he passed for 932 yards and 9 touchdowns, both Super Bowl records at the time of his retirement. In 19 post-season games, he completed 261 passes for 3,833 yards.

The NFL on NBC pregame show

The NBC television network's in-studio pre-game coverage for their National Football League game telecasts has had a rather inconsistent history in comparison to other pre-game shows (such as The NFL Today on CBS and Fox NFL Sunday on Fox). The following is an overview of the various titles and formats relating towards NBC Sports' NFL pre-game coverage.

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