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Fox Sports Builds Show Around Kellerman

A daily sports news-and-talk show featuring former ESPN personality Max Kellerman and a proposed weekly pro wrestling series are on tap for Fox Sports Net.

On May 10, the network will debut I, MAX, a 30-minute show focusing on several sports topics of the day, according to Kellerman.

While details regarding the show’s format and on-air look have yet to be finalized, Kellerman envisions a fast-paced program in which the outspoken sports analyst “spars” with a yet-to-be determined antagonist. A Fox spokesman said the network is negotiating with Denver Post sports columnist Woody Paige, although at press time no deal had been finalized.

Each of 12 or so segments will be scored on a point system similar to a boxing match, with a “champion” chosen at the end of the 30-minute segment.

Kellerman also said the show will feature interactive technology, including TiVo-like features that allow him to pause, rewind and fast-forward comments from other analysts or guests.

Fox Sports Net executive vice president of programming and production George Greenberg said of the new show: “Max Kellerman is one of today’s most intelligent and compelling sports television personalities, and I, MAX is all about providing him a forum to present his opinions on the day’s sports news and events.”

Along with its 6 p.m. daily airing, Greenberg said the show would most likely be repeated at 10:30, prior to FSN’s Best Damn Sports Show Period. There may also be a “best of” weekend version.

The 30-year-old Kellerman believes the up-tempo approach should appeal to 18-to-34-year-old viewers who tuned into him weekday afternoons during his run on ESPN’s Around the Horn.

“What we have is a unique opportunity to expose some of Max’s younger fans and usher them to Fox Sports, where they might not ordinarily come,” added Greenberg. “To be able to put on air someone from their own generation will make a big difference.”

Joining Kellerman is former Around the Horn coordinating producer Bill Wolff, as executive producer with a significant on-air role. Greenberg also said Kellerman will be featured in other Fox Sports Net-related projects, including Sunday night boxing.

Fox Sports Net also is close to finalizing a deal with pro wrestling outfit TNA Entertainment LLC for a weekly afternoon wrestling series.

TNA, one of the few wrestling organizations competing against industry leader World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., currently distributes a weekly $9.95 pay-per-view event.

Fox Sports Net and TNA executives confirmed negotiations were continuing, but declined to offer details on other particulars.

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.