Monday Night Mayhem: The Inside Story of ABC's Monday Night Football

Marc Gunter, Author, Marc Gunther, Author, Bill Carter, With Beech Tree Paperback Book $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07553-8
In the early 1970s, Monday Night Football revolutionized television sports coverage. The brainchild of ABC producer Roone Arledge, it was the first major sports production in prime time and, attracting a wide viewership, was soon widely copied, even by baseball's World Series, which started to schedule night games. In addition, in an attempt to lure a female audience, Monday Night Football presented the game as spectacle, with shots of the crowd, cheerleaders and coaches as well as closeups of the players, and many technical innovations. But in the broadcast booth, all was not beer and skittles. The original sportscasters were the brash and abrasive Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Keith Jacksonwho was replaced by Frank Gifford. The chemistry was bad, however, according to the authors, because Cosell resented the ex-jocks. Eventually, after the Cap Cities takeover, the show ended up with Gifford, Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf, its emphasis on show biz gone. By concentrating on the interplay of personalities, Detroit Free Press TV-columnist Gunther and Baltimore Sun TV-critic Carter write a tale that will appeal to many more readers than just football fans. Photos not seen by PW. Literary Guild alternate. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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