by Jef Dinsmore
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In an earlier post, we pointed out prolific sportscaster Bob Costas’ return to HBO. BACK ON THE RECORD WITH BOB COSTAS’ first installment just debuted on FRIDAY, JULY 30 (11:00pm-12:00am). This work, from the only broadcaster to receive Emmys in the news, sports and entertainment categories, played out like he never left the place.

I watched the premiere. Episode one features a one-on-one, in-studio interview with Hall of Famer and basketball broadcaster, Charles Barkley; and Olympic gold medalist, Aly Raisman. Joining Bomani Jones for the in-studio roundtable discussions are former Major League Baseball pitcher and commentator, David Cone and former WNBA player, podcast host, vice president and part-owner of the Atlanta Dream legends, Renee Montgomery.BackOnTheRecord_Bomani-300x152

The show does hold to the standard format of one-on-one interviews followed by different guests at a roundtable discussion but it is wrapped in Costas’ signature commentaries that capture his distinctive voice and point of view. It is amazing, especially with his HBO colleague Bryant Gumbel also talking the same topics, how diverse and ample the sports stories, controversial issues and conversations are. It seems like we will never end the sports discussion, nor do we want it to.

In the first installment of Costas’ return, the topics were varied. First up was a sit-down with Charles Barkley. As is par for the course, the top-of-the-show chats are usually far too short, and Costas makes that point known in talking with Barkley. They did cover a good gamut of topics in that time including whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James is the greatest in their sport. No surprise that Barkley was Barkley, of course. 

Next, up was who Costas called the ‘leading voice in the roundtable’ for the show – Bomani Jones (pictured above). He has been a big presence on ESPN and joins Costas here with a younger perspective on the sports scene. First up for him here is a commentary piece on the ruling that NCAA athletes can make money on their name, image and likeness. What follows is a brief exchange to make sure Costas weighs in on the topic. That is followed up by the roundtable with Cone & Montgomery which rushed by so fast they didn’t seem to really show their mettle.  

The reason for it is obvious. More time is needed for the final guest and the best part of this installment, as Aly Raisman sat down to talk about the most relevant topic right now – the Tokyo Olympics and Simone Biles. It is a good conversation and indeed proves, among other things, that Bob Costas hasn’t missed a beat. 

BACK ON THE RECORD WITH BOB COSTAS will air quarterly across HBO’s platform. We will let you know when the next one is available. It is on HBO & HBO Max and on the following channels:   

Wed, Aug 04 5:35 pm ET HBO    Wed, Aug 04 5:35 pm ET HBO LATINO

Sun, Aug 08 6:15 pm ET HBO     Sun, Aug 08 6:15 pm ET HBO LATINO 

Tue, Aug 10 11:00 pm ET HBO    Tue, Aug 10 11:00 pm ET HBO LATINO 

Wed, Aug 11 8:00 pm ET HBO    Wed, Aug 11 9:50 pm ET HBO LATINO 

Thu, Aug 12 9:00 pm ET HBO2    Fri, Aug 13 1:20 pm ET HBO2 

Wed, Aug 18 4:35 pm ET HBO2    Tue, Aug 24 3:25 am ET HBO2 

Wed, Aug 25 3:50 pm ET HBO2 


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