Apr 15, 2013; Bristol, CT, USA; Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins speak with ESPN

Michael Wilbon’s role on ABC’s NBA Countdown to be reduced; Return to PTI


If you’re a big PTI fan, you’ve probably noticed that Michael Wilbon is pretty much always on the road, doing the show via satellite. That’s assuming he can even get on the show as often times they’ve had to employ a guest to take his spot.

Apparently noticing a lack in ratings or simply wanting to return to their roots, ESPN/ABC/Disney is planning to diminish the role of Wilbon on ABC’s weekend/holiday basketball pre-game show, NBA Countdown.

Reducing Wilbon’s role on the television program will reportedly allow the Chicago native to be far more available for Pardon the Interruption with fellow host Tony Kornheiser.

Per The Big Lead:

Michael Wilbon’s role on ESPN’s NBA Countdown will be diminished next season, and taking his spot on the set will most likely be former 76ers coach Doug Collins, multiple sources told The Big Lead.

The move is primarily so that Wilbon can return to focusing on the show that made him a star, Pardon the Interruption. In recent years, Wilbon has increasingly appeared on PTI via remote – from Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Arizona, etc – diluting some of the outstanding chemistry he’s built up with longtime friend Tony Kornheiser.

Wilbon’s frequent travel has also led to PTI replacing him with Bob Ryan or J.A. Adande, and the end result of both of those factors is that ratings for the show have sagged in the last two years, sources say.

When PTI first aired, I couldn’t miss it. But like many, over time, I grew tired of it and the ever-changing hosts, so maybe Wilbon’s return will bring the ratings back up.

Tags: ESPN Michael Wilbon