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TV Bulletin Board (Wed., July 17) -- Olbermann bouncing back to ESPN


You just can’t keep a good malcontent down.

Keith Olbermann will be returning to the network that made him a highly volatile star, ESPN announced Wednesday.

Beginning August 26th, the former SportsCenter co-anchor will join ESPN2 as the sole proprietor of Olbermann, to be scheduled weeknights at 10 p.m. (central).

Olbermann was with ESPN from 1992-’97 before leaving under less than ideal circumstances. In the years since he has worked for Fox Sports Net, MSNBC, NBC and Current TV.

“Keith is a one-of-a-kind personality and these shows will be appointment viewing for that very reason,” ESPN president John Skipper said in a publicity release. Keith brings a blend of editorial sophistication and unpredictability. You can never be sure what you’ll get.”

Olbermann, who settled dueling lawsuits with Current TV earlier this year, said he is “overwhelmed by the chance to begin anew with ESPN . . . Our histories are indelibly intertwined and frankly I have long wished that I had the chance to make sure the totality of that story would be a completely positive one. I’m grateful to friends and bosses -- old and new -- who have permitted that opportunity to come to pass. I’m not going to waste it.”

Olbermann recently got another new job -- as the studio host of this fall’s post-season baseball courage on TBS. For his second coming On ESPN, he reportedly has agreed not to talk about politics. The network says that Olbermann “will focus on the day’s relevant sports topics through a mix of perspective and commentary, interviews, contributors, panel discussions and highlights.”

***Showtime has renewed its new crime drama series Ray Donovan for a second season after its recent premiere episode set a ratings record for the network, according to Showtime. Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight are the principal stars.

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