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T.Ocho Show on Versus Still Struggling in Ratings Department

The T.Ocho Show talk show featuring Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens on Versus garnered headlines when either one of the players popped off. For instance, there was the time when Owens said Jason Garrett was the problem in Dallas, and he was quickly proven to be wrong when Garrett went 5-3 as an interim coach. Then the topper was towards the end of the season when Owens said the Bengals were underachieving from the top down — a direct implication of the coaching staff.

Neither player will likely be back with Cincinnati next season, and their antics have helped lead to Carson Palmer demanding a trade. You figure with all the controversy surrounding the team that many people would want to tune into their TV show to watch the weekly proverbial train crash. That line of thinking has not manifested.

The T.Ocho Show opened to embarrassingly low TV ratings — a 0.1 for their debut back in October. Sure, the ratings need to be taken in context compared to the audience the rest of the programming on Versus receives, but it still came in much lower than hockey on the network, for instance. There have been 16 episodes of the show, and the latest version registered a 0.1 with 123,000 viewers — a dropoff from Hockey Central before it, which had 184,000 viewers. What really commanded my attention was that their show did a 0.0 rating with 29,000 viewers the next night, but that was a re-run.

What this really tells us, besides that Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens really don’t matter to fans anymore, is that the NFL can thrive without divas. They don’t need touchdown dances or celebrations to draw monster ratings in games, and they don’t need loudmouths like these guys. That’s bad news for 81 and 85 moving forward, as many teams won’t be interested in signing either one as free agents.

UCLA-Cal Basketball Game Relegated to Tape Delay in Los Angeles Market

It’s bad enough that some UCLA football games get tape delayed in the local LA market. It’s somewhat understandable when games against Montana on a busy NFL Sunday are delayed until later in the evening. But there is something that will not be acceptable regardless of the day, time, or issue: UCLA basketball should never be bumped off a live slot.

What is this, 1965 with Dick Enberg calling games on KTLA to be shown at 11pm after the local news? How can a brand name and fan base as wide and powerful as the UCLA Bruins get the disrespect of being pushed off live TV? It’s incomprehensible and quite frankly maddening.

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Stephen A. Smith Awaiting Word from Showtime on Potential Series

After passing along word that media personality Stephen A. Smith would be leaving his FOX Sports Radio daily morning show last month, we’ve received plenty of inquiries about his next step. Stephen A. wrote in December that we’d be hearing from him in a big way very soon. Naturally we figured he had a TV show in the making, so we decided to follow up on the issue.

Smith has been talking with Showtime about a potential late night show, even reportedly filming a pilot for them. When asked if there was any progress with the show, Smith informed LBS that “Showtime is expected to make a decision as to whether they’ll take the talk show to series” and that we would know when they make a decision.

A late night program with Smith as the host would make plenty of sense given Showtime’s new direction. An article in the LA Times Saturday highlighted Showtime’s future plans, saying “David Nevins, the network’s new entertainment president, said he planned to add more original fare and blend in sports and shows with “cool-guy” testosterone appeal to draw more men and younger viewers to the premium channel.” Seems like a Stephen A. Smith show would fit their desires.

As for any plans on a new radio show, Smith told us to “stay tuned.” We have been told that he may explore a show in a genre other than sports, perhaps something in the urban/adult contemporary category similar to Steve Harvey. To use Stephen’s terms, stay tuned.

Stephen A. Smith Leaving Daily Morning Show at FOX Sports Radio

About a year ago, Steve Czaban’s long-running morning show was canceled by FOX Sports Radio and replaced by Stephen A. Smith. The idea was to provide a different sound from the competition in the East Coast morning drive slot. Stephen A. did just that and did it well, but his style was not for some folks. Because of that reason, FOX wisely offered affiliates a second morning show option — the Zakk and Jack show with Dominic Zaccagnini and former Colts QB Jack Trudeau.

Tuesday it was announced that Stephen A. would be leaving his morning show and Zakk and Jack will become the network’s morning show. Stephen A. will play the new role of NBA analyst for the network, which likely means guest spots talking basketball.

Stephen A. implied on his twitter account that the decision was his, saying “3:30am wakeup calls, then traveling 80 miles 1-way to work everyday was very taxing.” He also added “you will be hearing from me very, very soon. In a big way, too.” Stay tuned for the latest development in the career of Stephen A., who likely is coming to a TV channel near you. And this should help explain why a future announcement won’t involve work for a newspaper.

Did Blog Comment Tip Bernie’s Crew Blogger Off to Zack Greinke Trade?

Late Saturday evening, we passed along word of a reported Zack Greinke to the Brewers trade. The report was met with skepticism because a fan blog called “Bernie’s Crew” published the news, while no mainstream reporters had any information on the deal. Between Greinke’s trade demands and Milwaukee’s candidacy to make a deal, we thought the report was significant and it turned out to be accurate.

Credit goes to Bernie’s Crew blogger Jim Breen for blowing away the competition when it came to the Greinke trade. He was ahead of information men like Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal, and even Brewers reporter Tom Haudricort. So how did Breen come out of nowhere to break the news? He told LBS in an email “I do not feel comfortable giving much information on my source, as I do want to adhere to his wishes as far as anonymity and the like. I was simply lucky enough to make the right connections at the right time.” His wishes to protect his source makes complete sense. But did he get tipped off to the news by a commenter on his blog? Sure seems like a possibility.

As D.J. Short informed us via Fantasy Fix, a commenter left this informative comment on a Bernie’s Crew post Saturday afternoon:

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Sports Guy Bill Simmons Brings Living Room Commentary to Heat-Warriors Game

ESPN has been known to pull announcer stunts before (see Dick Vitale on NBA games) and they followed the same model on Friday night. The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, was added as a color commentator to the Heat-Warriors telecast along with Dan Shulman and Mark Jackson. Though the haters brought their criticism, I thought Simmons did fine.

At first he brought a really genuine feeling to the telecast joking he was excited the Bulls-Lakers game didn’t go into overtime because he was excited to do his “stand-up” introduction to the game. Simmons got in a few Steve Kerr references, one of which was regarding Carlos Arroyo’s role on the team. He brought his typical humor when talking about Reggie Williams saying he made the list of Top 75 D-League stories and that Dorell Wright was “playing like a spurned girlfriend.”

Simmons seemed to be most comfortable picking on the little guys. In addition to Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams, Dan Gadzuric was one of his targets. He pointed out something most announcers wouldn’t touch, that Gadzuric is playing harder now that he’s going to be a free agent than he was in Milwaukee where he had a nice contract. Also, he mentioned that the story about players lacking confidence in Erik Spoelstra likely came from LeBron’s camp, something else most announcers wouldn’t be bold enough to say.

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Colin Cowherd Sells Life Story to CBS in Sitcom Deal

No need to double check the URL — this is not The Onion. This is in fact a true story. Trust me, I had to quadruple check before I published this post and actually did more fact-checking than I have for any other story I’ve ever written. You read correctly: ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd has apparently sold his life story to CBS which will turn it into a sitcom.

The Hollywood Reporter via The Sports Hernia provided the following details: “The Cowherd script sold as a multi-camera comedy to CBS, with writers Bill Martin and Mike Schiff attached (Hank, Grounded For Life), as well as executive producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men).”

Keep something in mind: just because the story was sold to CBS doesn’t mean this will ever appear on TV. CBS has purchased the rights to make a show based on Cowherd but we’re pretty far away from seeing it on TV. Still, what I don’t get is why anyone pays attention to this clown.

Cowherd says things just for the purpose of irritating and agitating people. When you hear b.s. coming out of someone’s mouth, why wouldn’t you just change the radio dial? That’s exactly what I do. Then again, I also zoom by at 70mph when I see a crash on the side of the freeway whereas most people slow down to check out the scene. Most people can’t help but be hooked by this garbage and it truly is pathetic. Actually, this show is billed as a comedy; it’s further confirmation that Cowherd’s goal is to be a joke.