Paul Finebaum opens up on the potential of a sitcom
Even at 64 years-old, Paul Finebaum is still looking for his potential next step in the media business. The rise of the ESPN radio host and studio analyst has been meteoric over the last several years, and Finebaum may not be just content to finish out his comfortable career with ESPN. For that, you have to admire him.
The Sports Business Journal reported Tuesday that Finebaum is weighing his future options, including a potential sitcom.
Paul Finebaum and his reps at CAA have met with all four major networks to gauge interest in a sitcom about the 64-year-old radio/TV personality, his call-in show and its many colorful characters. A sitcom is one of several opportunities Finebaum is exploring as he nears the end of his contract at ESPN and SEC Network, sources say. Finebaum’s $5 million, three-year deal runs through next summer, but sources say he could leave as early as the end of the 2020 college football season.
Following the report, Finebaum confirmed the talks, and he opened up about the potential sitcom on WNSP-FM 105.5 in Mobile on Thursday. A producer initially contacted Finebaum’s representatives about the sitcom idea after they heard his story on Tony Kornheiser’s podcast.
“They thought it would make a good sitcom,” Finebaum explained, via AL.com. “These things are long processes. It turned out we had several conference calls and several meetings.
“They finally put a proposal together and made the rounds. Through intermediaries last August, we had meetings with the four major networks.”
To be clear, Finebaum explained that he wouldn’t be acting in the show, and that it would be more about his early career.
“They wrote it as a guy from New York who comes to the South, loosely set in Birmingham,” Finebaum explained. “Someone with that mentality dealing with a different culture. That’s the concept. One of the ideas was to have me married to a very Southern family. And, just the conflicts of a New Yorker who was edgier than the norm.”
Among the future possibilities, including a sitcom, Finebaum could leave ESPN for a startup similar to Bill Simmons’ The Ringer, DAZN or another media platform.