Is Keith Olbermann’s latest TV renaissance about to take him back to Bristol? The lightning-rod veteran of sports and political shows is in “serious discussions” with Disney-owned ESPN for a late-night talker on sister outlet ESPN2, according to the New York Daily News. The paper stresses that no decision has been made and that talks are “very fluid,” but even the notion of Olbermann-to-ESPN has eyebrows arched around the industry — especially with the launch of News Corp’s high-profile potential rival sports net just a month away. Fox Sports 1 has been staffing up for its August 17 debut, prepping shows with Regis Philbin and Mike Tyson, among others, so Olbermann would be quite a coup for the Worldwide Leader, which is coming off a wince-inducing 32% Q2 ratings drop for its flagship network and 12% for ESPN2. Olbermann is resuscitating his post-Current TV career with a Major League Baseball postseason studio show on TBS. That is the former MSNBC host’s first television gig since his very public split with Current, which Al Gore since has sold to Al Jazeera. Olbermann worked at ESPN from 1992-97 before exiting — as has become is TV M.O. — amid controversy. He also had a three-year stint at Fox Sports Net and Fox, working the 2000 World Series for the latter.
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