NBA TV to Debut Late-Night Talker

Dec 22, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Sportscasting veteran Ahmad Rashad is joining NBA TV’s lineup with a talk show designed to attract actors, musicians and other celebrities as the fledgling network broadens its programming sphere beyond the basketball court.
During the half-hour show guests will talk about basketball, then move on to other subjects if they like, Mr. Rashad said.
The program, “Ahmad Rashad One on One,” will debut Christmas night at 11, after an NBA triple-header on ESPN and ABC concludes. The show then moves to its regular 11 p.m. Sunday night time slot.
The kickoff show will contain parts of interviews with Penny Marshall, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer and Steve Harvey.
After that the show will settle into what Mr. Rashad called more of a “Charlie Rose”-type format-“except more fun”-with guests such as Bill Murray, Spike Lee, Bernie Mac, Jay-Z, Joe Pesci and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.
“It’s an entertainment show,” Mr. Rashad said. “You start out talking about basketball and it spins off to other things. If you want to spin off, and it stays entertaining, we can go that way. The premise is basketball, and all kinds of things can come from it.”
He said guests aren’t going to be grilled or forced to talk about their latest film or album. Ms. Marshall talked about a game she remembered attending at Madison Square Garden when she was 18, and she described it in detail. “At NBA Entertainment, we have that footage, so the ability to enhance that story with the footage is really very cool,” Mr. Rashad said.
Mr. Rashad is the host of ABC’s “The Mole” and a former pro football player. He will also serve as executive producer of “One,” along with NBA Entertainment Executive VP and NBA TV Executive Producer Gregg Winik.
Since its premiere in 1999 NBA TV has attracted just 8 million to 10 million homes. But the network has distribution agreements with Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems, DirecTV and DISH Network, which represent 45 million households.