ESPN’s roster of on-air talent has changed considerably over the past several years amid mass layoffs, pay disputes, creative differences or simply to pursue other content opportunities in new, emerging spaces like sports betting. That turnover is par for the course in a rapidly changing sports media landscape, though at least one thing in Bristol has stayed the same—the presence, every weekday at 5:30 PM ET, of Washington Post alums Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser, who have worked together as panelists on Pardon the Interruption since 2001. PTI, in many ways, laid the foundation for future debate shows like Around the Horn, First Take and Undisputed, in essence pioneering a new genre of sports television.
In honor of Wilbon and Kornheiser’s 20-year partnership, ESPN will air an hour-long documentary chronicling the show Tuesday night at 7 PM ET. The trailer, shared Thursday by ESPN Public Relations, features soundbites and cameo appearances from a host of longtime colleagues and collaborators including Tony Reali (who worked as a statistician and ombudsmen on the show for 13 years), Frank Isola, Dan Le Batard, Jackie MacMullan, Michelle Tafoya, David Aldridge and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young.
Pablo Torre, who has often filled in as a substitute host when one of Wilbon or Kornheiser is absent, will also debut a four-part podcast series about Pardon the Interruption with new episodes released each Saturday beginning October 2nd. PTI will celebrate its official 20th anniversary on October 22nd, making the late afternoon fixture one of the longest-running series on ESPN.
With production based in Washington D.C., Pardon the Interruption has aired over 5,000 episodes, garnering Sports Emmy Awards for Daily Outstanding Studio Show in 2009, 2016 and 2019.