Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN considering 'Get Up' overhaul, per report

Alex Reimer
June 01, 2018 - 2:15 pm

ESPN's leash on its expensive morning show might be shorter than originally anticipated. Executives at the WorldWide Leader are considering major changes to “Get Up” if ratings don’t improve by football season, according to the Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy. The show has failed to gain traction so far, despite its opulent Manhattan-based studios and reported nearly $15 million cast of Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose.

The show premiered April 3 to disappointing numbers and things haven’t gotten much better. Its ratings futility has even spawned a Twitter account, “@DidGetUpGet300K,” which tracks how many people view each episode. “Get Up” has only cracked the 300,000 mark nine times in nearly three months.

"This is a work in progress. That’s what any new show is,” ESPN’s executive vice president of content Connor Schell told SN. “In fact, in many cases on a daily show, your first show is the worst one. Then you go, ‘OK, this felt comfortable, we’re going to do this, we’re going to move a little faster here, this segment worked.’ That’s a process that we want to give time to and let some smart talented people think about it and iterate it. I don’t mean for that to sound like a canned answer. It’s true. It’s what we said going in.”

ESPN could add an ex-football player to the show once the NFL kicks off Sept. 6, SN reports. Analysts Ryan Clark, Booger McFarland and Damien Woody have apparently been discussed as possibilities. McFarland has already hosted the show multiple times.

Before “Get Up” even launched, there were warranted doubts about the show’s appeal in a crowded morning landscape. The program, a disjointed mix of standard news highlights, awkward conversation and banal debate, doesn’t have an identity at this point. Complicating matters is the fact that Beadle and Rose have a strong rapport from their time on “NBA Countdown,” leaving Greenberg out of the mix. 

The rashness of ESPN’s reported desire for change signals that executives aren’t enamored with the show, just like the audience. Adding a football analyst likely won’t save it, but it would start to move the program towards a different identity.