NBC’s “Football Night in America” To Kill Off a Host for November Sweeps
With NBC continuing to draw sluggish ratings this season, NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol said he will do his part to boost the network’s sluggish ratings during the crucial November sweeps period by killing off one host of “Football Night in America” this Sunday night.
The network is allowing viewers to vote for which host will be killed on NBCSports.com, but the final decision will be made by producers and Ebersol himself.
“The viewing public loves life and death stuff like this,” said Ebersol. “It’s always great for ratings. That’s why you see shows kill off a character or have a character have a baby when ratings start to dip. The only difference is that in our case we don’t have characters. This is a real live person that we’ll be killing. But I think that fact will bring in even more viewers.”
So far the more than 6 million votes have been logged on NBCSports.com with Cris Collinsworth, Peter King, Al Michaels and John Madden running neck and neck at the top. But Ebersol reiterated that while he will take into account the online vote, the final decision will be his.
“There are positives and negatives to offing each and every one of them,” he said.
Cris Collinsorth: “I think he might win the online vote. He comes across as very unlikable. Plus, he’s a dork and deep down everyone wants to see a dork get picked on. Or, in this instance, bludgeoned to death on a television set by a director’s chair.”
Peter King: “The only reason he won’t win the online vote because he’s not well-known enough by the average viewer who isn’t familiar with his atrocious work for Sports Illustrated. Plus, killing him might be difficult and could push us way over time on our broadcast because we’d have to get through several layers of fat before any major organs would come into play.”
Bob Costas: “Kind of condescending and a bit too much of a sports nerd for most. But, personally, I’d feel bad killing him because he stayed with this network for a long time when all we were showing was the Olympics ever few years and some extreme sports crap.”
Al Michaels: “He probably deserves to be killed more than anyone. The guy makes a fortune but has been mailing it in for the better part of the last decade. I just hope if we kill him that ABC Sports will give us back the cartoon bunny we traded to get him.”
Sterling Sharpe: “A lot of people are going to vote for him thinking he’s Shannon Sharpe.”
Jerome Bettis: “He’s a likable guy and means well, so it would probably upset people if he was the one to go. And it would especially upset people from Detroit.”
John Madden: “Tons of people will vote for him to be killed. But I don’t see the point really. He’ll probably die of natural causes soon anyway – maybe even before Sunday – so it would probably be a waste of effort on our part.”
Ebersol says the public will learn which NBC football employee has been chosen as the one to go in a dramatic conclusion to Sunday’s night’s pregame show.
“I’m confident this will be huge for ratings,” said Ebersol. “And just to be sure, we’re going to have that Hiro guy from “Heroes” be in-studio to do the killing himself. It’s going to be awesome.”