The Washington, D.C. based Rydholm Projects production team responsible for ESPN’s popular weekday afternoon block of Highly Questionable, Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption has found a creative way to stay connected and reach fans in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine.
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” said executive producer Erik Rydholm. “We were determined to still produce content in the spirit of what we do every day. Hence the creation of Highly Quarantined, Around The Home and Pardon The Isolation.”
The three ESPN shows are posting daily videos on their respective Twitter handles and other social platforms. For example, Tony Reali led a multi-panel conversation this week with ATH regulars Jackie MacMullan, Mina Kimes and Sarah Spain about Tom Brady’s decision not to return to the New England Patriots, while HQ took a similar approach – in its own signature style – with Dan Le Batard, Katie Nolan and Kimes.
HQ and ATH are using a high-quality (and free) videoconferencing service that offers no delay between participants, so the conversations can flow naturally. For PTI, Tony Kornheiser’s wife and Michael Wilbon’s son record videos and e-mail the content to editor Chris Gavin, who stitches them together from his computer at home.
Rydholm added: “Some viewers have thanked us for giving them a small dose of normalcy. It’s even more therapeutic for us. We get to create fun things with people we adore and admire for people we appreciate deeply, giving us all a break from dullness and dread.”
ESPN’s Daily Wager also is being produced out of commentators’ homes. Read more about ESPN’s innovative, expanding home and remote studio network.