Colin Cowherd’s Return to Studio Welcome Bit of Normalcy for Sports TV

    • Colin Cowherd and Joy Taylor will broadcast in a ‘modified format’ with ‘essential cast and crew,’ says FS1.
    • Move seen as a signal things are slowly loosening up in the production of sports TV.

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The coronavirus pandemic has led sports networks such as Fox Sports’ FS1 to shoot most of their studio shows remotely. But there are signs that things are slowly loosening up in sports TV.

Colin Cowherd and Joy Taylor are expected to return to FS1 studios in Los Angeles on May 13 to shoot “The Herd With Colin Cowherd.” 

Cowherd and Taylor had been filming remotely from their home setups. They’ll return to their former studio home, with a smaller production crew.

“Over the past few months, our FS1 studio production teams have been working tirelessly to deliver uninterrupted, top-notch daily programming to our viewers while at all times maintaining the safety, health, and well-being of our talent, employees and production staff,” said FS1 spokesman Andrew Fegyveresi in a statement.

Fegyveresi said the show will return in a “modified format” with “essential cast and crew.” Fox Sports is “adhering to CDC guidelines and following recommendations by federal, state, and local officials and will continue to explore similar production methods for our full slate of studio programming over time,” he said.

The move could be the first step for other weekday FS1 shows to return to their studios in Los Angeles and New York. As of May 13, Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe, and Jenny Taft were still filming their “Undisputed” morning debate show remotely from their home setups. Same for “First Things First” with Nick Wright, Jenna Wolfe, and Kevin Wildes.

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ESPN, meanwhile, has taken a case by case approach.  Some programs, such as Rachel Nichols’ “The Jump,” are filmed entirely from home studios.  But the network has continued to produce other shows, such as “SportsCenter,” “Get Up,” and “First Take” from studio locations while operating with leaner production crews to conform to social distancing and quarantine regulations.

OnMay 11, ESPN announced an expanded weekday 11-hour block of live and quick-turnaround studio programming, which includes “First Take Extra,” three 20-minute shows, and a two-hour “SportsCenter.”.