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First Take
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TV Series
    (May 7, 2007- )
    Broadcast from Bristol, Connecticut
    Airs on ESPN and ESPN2
    Featured Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith
    Later added Max Kellerman as an analyst in 2016
    Hosted by Molly Qerim (2015- ), Cari Champion (2012-2015), and Dana Jacobson (2007-2011)
    Frequent guests include/d Herm Edwards, Donovan McNabb, Rob Parker, and Chris Broussard
    Premise: Analysts and long-time sports reporters provide daily roundtable debates on current US sports topics of interest
    It granted renewed relevance to professional race huckster Stephen A. Smith.
    It is widely believed to have helped kill off Tim Tebow's football career.
    Semi-regular contributor Rob Parker was suspended after making several racially insensitive remarks about Robert Griffin III.
    Production was accused of utilizing hot-button racial topics to stoke tension and boost ratings (hence Bayless' endless fixation on LeBron and the use of the N-word).
    Stephen Smith has been known to use the program as his bully pulpit, one more than one occasion issuing veiled threats to bury athletes that cross him, with bad press (e.g. Kevin Durant).
    At times it seemed like Skip Bayless' sole purpose on the show was to be punked by his own guests, usually athletes he'd dissed at some earlier point (e.g. Richard Sherman, 'I'm better at life than you!')
    ESPN suspended Smith for a week over several controversial comments related to the NFL's disciplining Ray Rice for a domestic violence incident, in which he appeared to suggest that female assault victims were to blame for 'provoking' their men (Feb. 2014).
    There were rumors that Bayless was forced out to appease Smith, during what amounted to a general purge of regular ESPN personalities. He left after his contract expired and was replaced by Max Kellerman, but the chemistry was missing.
    Programming executives oversaw the show's move from ESPN2 to the main ESPN network, in an attempt at saving the channel's declining ratings overall, but the strategy failed to produce the intended results (although it probably would have worked if Bayless hadn't departed for Fox Sports).
    It offers the chance for lively debate with differing opinions.
    It became a cornerstone in ESPN's programming after starting out as mere 'filler.'
    It does on-location 'roadshow' broadcasts for the weeks of College Football Playoff, the Super Bowl and the NBA Finals.
    At its peak, it was the go-to destination spot for and celebrities seeking to either promote themselves or raise their profiles within their own teams (usually by debating one of the hosts).
    It has provided greater visibility to female sportscasters Dana Jacobson and Molly Qerim.
    It underwent a drastic makeover in format around 2011, with a greater focus on 'debate,' which increased its ratings by 58% in the first three months of 2012.
    It was one of the first sports talk shows to successfully meld sports into the context of a political discussion.
    The spirited debates between Smith and Bayless have become the stuff of cable sports TV legend (they're like the Jon Stewart/Bill O'Reilly of sports).
    The formulaic approach of the hosts strengthened their rapport with daytime audiences (Bayless is a fan of the Spurs, Patriots, and Cowboys; Smith is all over Aaron Rodgers, etc.).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2018, as of last week, Out of 313 Votes: 60.70% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 774 Votes: 81.14% Annoying
 
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