*You might have noticed something a little different on “CBS Evening News” this week.
James Brown – not the one in theaters this weekend, but the Emmy-winning NFL studio host for both CBS and Fox – is filling in for regular “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley this week. The run comes just over a month before football fans will see him on Thursday nights beginning with the Sept. 11 debut of CBS’ “NFL Thursday Night Football.”
In a Thursday afternoon interview with TVNewswer, Brown said of his hard news turn this week: “It’s been exciting, it keeps my juices flowing. I forgot how all-encompassing it is because news happens continuously.
“I got a call the other day saying, ‘J.B. you need to get over here a little bit sooner than planned because we have some breaking news you need to be on top of.’ So, I am on 24/7 in that regard.”
TV Newser points out that leads on “Evening News” have been all over the place this week – extreme weather on Monday, athlete head injuries on Tuesday, and the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa on Wednesday.
“I’ve made it a point once I signed on to become a special correspondent [for CBS News] to make certain my day consists of at least being relatively well-versed with a range of news, whether it’s local, domestic, or global.” he said. “And also on the silos: health, education, Capitol Hill–and all the dysfunction that’s taking place there–I make certain that I have at least a good fundamental understanding of what’s going on.”
And how does Brown feel about sitting in the anchor chair for CBS’ flagship newscast compared to his usual NFL studio digs?
“There is absolutely no difference. The bottom line is you better be sharp, you better be well prepared, because it’s a very discerning, very erudite audience you’re talking to,” he tells the website.
Brown will be back in familiar territory when NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” begins splitting its home between the NFL network and CBS. The CBS portion begins Sept. 11, from weeks 2 through 8 of the 2014-15 season.
The NFL previously announced that Thursday nights will feature division rivalry games, so CBS will carry the likes of Pittsburgh at Baltimore, New York Giants at Washington, New York Jets at New England and San Diego at Denver among scheduled matchups.
JB and his Sunday “NFL Today” crew (Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason, as well as newly-retired Tony Gonzales and CBS Sports Network’s Bart Scott – replacing Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe) will be featured during Thursday’s pre-game, halftime and post-game shows.
Below, CBS Sports head Sean McManus runs down all of the new and unprecedented “bells and whistles” that will be utilized during its Thursday night coverage: