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Fourth Time's The ESPY Charm For Jackson

Actor Samuel L. Jackson will return as host of ESPN's 17th annual ESPY awards this July, the sports network announced Tuesday.

The deal marks the fourth time the Pulp Fiction and Shaft star will host the ESPYs, which commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major achievements.. Jackson will be joined by a litany of as-yet- announced top athletes and entertainers on the show, which will tape July 15 from the Nokia Theatre in LA and air on ESPN July 15.

"It's a pleasure to bring back Samuel L. Jackson as host. Not only is he one of the most talented actors, his passion and enthusiasm for sports make him a great host for the ESPYs," said Maura Mandt, ESPN executive producer for The 2009 ESPYs in a statement. "Sam has already created some of the funniest moments in the ESPYs with his skits like ‘The Comeback', and we can't wait for him to do more."

Added Jackson: "I am very excited to host The 2009 ESPYs and celebrate some of the most remarkable athletes from all over the world ...It's no secret that I have had a life-long love of sports and the ESPYs give me and the fans a chance to see our favorite athletes come together to celebrate their fantastic achievements over the past year."

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.