Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Feb 2008

No More 'Inside the NFL' on HBO

The longest-running series on cable television, Inside the NFL, will air on HBO for the last time this week. That doesn't necessarily mean that the show is over for good -- the NFL says it's planning to bring it back on another network -- but it does mean we've seen the end of an era for a show that, at one time, was the only in-depth NFL highlights show available on television.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 06 Feb 2008

24 comments, Last at 11 Feb 2008, 8:17pm by vanya


by Dean (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 5:42pm

Lets see...

One less outlet for Peter King. Hard to cry too much.

by Mike (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 5:51pm

Did anyone ever figure out why that show never broadcasted in HD? What a waste.

by are-tee (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 6:38pm

First ABC suspends "Cavemen", now this from HBO - how much worse can it get?

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 6:46pm

Wow, ABC dumped "Cavemen"? Never saw that coming.

We need an Irrational Peter King vs. Greg Easterbrook thread.

by Herm? (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 6:46pm


NBC would be a good fit, since they already have half the panel on their payroll. But will they be able to show it 12 times a week?

by RickD (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:00pm

Here's a guess: the NFL will want to bring it back on the NFL network?

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:19pm

4: That's one debate where I'll take meteor, although I might pick TMQ just for the cheesecake photos.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:22pm

Someone with some skill for parody oughta' write a piece depicting a debate between King and Easterbrook. It could work in one of King's annoying travel notes and his penchant for dicovering the banal, and Easterbrook's penchant for turning everything into a morality play, along with his throwing his shoulder out via incessantly patting himself on the back.

by Herm? (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:25pm

RickD, in the article, there's a quick blurb about NFLN possibly picking it up, but probably replacing Costas because they can't afford/won't pay him.

Gumbel 2 Gumbel?

by Mikey (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:25pm

This is just a guess, but....

Who's in last place in Primetime?

Who has the Super Bowl next year?

Who, as noted above, already has half their studio cast on this show?

Which network sports president has the most pull with both the league and his own company's senior management?

It does make a lot of sense.

by Herm? (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 7:36pm

Will, I'm picturing the parody in the form of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", ironically using the theme from a writer I actually found entertaining at times. Pulling from the early passages when they are in a convertible on the way to LV...except the trunk is full of coffee and some trinkets that may relate to TMQ (moral outrage parental training hate-mongering pamphlets?).
Although I would wonder how to craft the dialogue of 2 people who never listen to each other and veer into nonfootball topics...(nonfootball topics terribly similar to my post? ok I'll stop now)

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 9:20pm

Not bad, herm, not bad. Maybe it could be told through the recollections of a 300 pound Samoan attorney.....

by seth (not verified) :: Wed, 02/06/2008 - 10:20pm

this is very unsettling...where i else will able to hear dan marino explaining that it "really all comes down to the quarterback"??

by vijay (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 2:13am

Let me say that I haven't watched the show regularly in probably 8 years because of my not getting HBO but this was the 1st football show I ever watched and as a little kid, I couldn't wait until Thursday. I would watch the live show every week and typically watch at least 2 or 3 versions in rerun during the week. The show is a full ONE year younger than me so for some of the younger people, this show is lame. But for me, I started watching this show religiously when I was probably 4 (that's the earliest I can remember, you can take your Sesame Street, I'll take Inside the NFL) and so it will always have a fond place in my heart. If I'm not mistaken, back then, it was Len Dawson and Nick Buoniconti and that's it. And the voiceover guy is awesome!

I only watched the current version in hotels since I don't get HBO and wasn't really impressed, but I will still miss the show because of my fond memories of it as a youngster...

by JFP (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 3:22am

Other than sentimental reasons, like Vijay in post 14, will anyone miss this show? I stopped tuning in regularly in 2004. The forced laughter at their stupid jokes drove me nuts. Good riddance.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 11:11am

All of this of course leads to the obvious question, when will FO start webcasting their own in depth analysis shows? I'd pay for that...

by saneiac (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 12:58pm

I'm with 14/15 on this. Inside was a great, great show until Nick Buoniconti and Len Dawson and company left. Once it got Costas, and Cris Carter's eyebrows, and the mind-numbingly stupid Wanda Sykes segments, it lost all its appeal for me.

by chris collinsworth (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 1:07pm

Chris Collinsworth offered some pretty decent analysis on that show, and sometimes that was the only place you could go to find it.

by Fred (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 3:18pm

I won't miss Costas (Aka SportsBoy).

by pete (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 6:05pm

Like most of you, I grew up with the real Inside the NFL, the days of Dawson, Buoniconti and eventually Collinsworth. It was a novel concept: Football fans want to watch a show geared towards information, not entertainment. Highlights, cover stories, in depth previews and most of all Predictions. In 2007, nothing differentiated Inside the NFL from the other 386 football shows on tv.

by panthersnbraves (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 6:18pm

I guess I am in the minority, but since I can only manage one or (maybe) two games a week, I need the highlights to help me with the rest of the league, particularly since they are likely to be the only coverage of any of the teams outside the AFC/NFC East and the Colts.

Since I live in one of the areas that does not have NFLN over cable, this was my best way of keeping up.

by Steely Glare (not verified) :: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 11:52pm

I like Costas, I like Marino, I like Collinsworth, I like Carter, and I like their spontaneous humor and chemistry. I never could stand Buonicotti. King is a mediocre writer, but a good reporter on the show.

Actually, it's the only football show I can stand to watch, so I guess I disagree with the rest of you. I'll miss it.

by JSap (not verified) :: Fri, 02/08/2008 - 4:13pm

As long as they keep Harry Kalas for the voiceovers on the highlights, I don't care what network it is on! I will agree that I hardly watch the show any more, but when the Eagles win a big game (I know, it hasn't happened recently!), I make sure to catch the highlights on Inside the NFL, just to hear Harry!

by vanya (not verified) :: Mon, 02/11/2008 - 8:17pm

I'll miss the show too. It wasn't great but it was still better than the other "386" football shows on TV. I'm not surprised people here dislike it, it's geared more for the casual fan - but it was a great way for the casual fan to catch up on what's going on. Occasionally they had great features as well - who can forget the insane Buffalo Bills' fan with his bowling ball full of coffee? Now I'll be forced to get the NFL Network to watch highlights. I'm sure that's why the show was canceled.