ESPN announced today that the original NFL highlight show, NFL Primetime, will return in its proper form for the remainder of the 2019 season. Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, co-hosts of the beloved program from its debut in 1987 to its re-tooling in 2006, will re-unite for this revival, which is set to air exclusively on the ESPN+ over-the-top service.
The original Primetime show was re-tooled drastically in 2006, as NBC gained the rights to extended Sunday night highlights when they acquired rights to Sunday Night Football from ESPN after the 2005 season. The “new” Primetime aired in ESPN’s new timeslot on Monday, and focused more on analysis and chatter than highlights.
Berman and Jackson were moved onto a SportsCenter segment called “The Blitz” on its Sunday/11 p.m. showing. The original Primetime format resurfaced occasionally, as Berman and Jackson reunited on the show for playoff weekends.
This time around, Berman and T.J. will also be joined by SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt and new Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore. Now the million-dollar question is if ESPN will bring back the background music that also defined the series.