by Ron Wynn
Even the legions who despise sports may take a peek at ESPN 2 starting 10 p.m. tonight. That's when Keith Olbermann's 18-month exile from television officially ends and his new weeknight show begins. The program returns him to the network where he enjoyed his initial fame as anything but a conventional sportscaster.
Olbermann will air live from the ABC News Nightline studio in Times Square. If anyone thinks the former MSNBC and later Current TV host is less than enthusiastic about his new position, read his interview in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter — where he pauses to call his former Current boss Al Gore "a clod" — or check out his pose in the latest TV Guide, where he's shown holding a baseball (his favorite sport).
"People who either didn't pay attention or, for political reasons, didn't like what I did at MSNBC will be pleasantly surprised," Olbermann told TV Guide. Whatever the case, ESPN is betting he can once more become what he once was: the biggest non-playing attraction in sports.
Longmire down to the wire
Throughout this year two themes have dominated A&E's modern western/detective yarn Longmire. One was the just-resolved election campaign between Longmire and his deputy Branch. The other comes to a powerful conclusion in tonight's finale: what actually happened to his wife in Denver.
Longmire has wrestled with memories of his wife, who (many thought) died in a car accident. The story that he gave authorities regarding her death wasn't the truth, but only a handful of people know the real story. But that's about to change, and the results won't be pretty or advantageous for Longmire, his family or friends.
The ends are near
• If you were among the (handful of) people who started watching NBC's contemporary update of the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde story Do No Harm, then resumed when they brought it back from the dead on Saturday nights, it will actually conclude over the Labor Day weekend.
NBC (WSMV-4) is running the final two episodes back-to-back at 8 p.m. Saturday. The show's producers are promising to tie up loose ends and answer all pertinent questions (except why it ever got on the air in the first place).
• ABC's Motive strikes me as far more about pithy exchanges and attitude than anything else, which would be fine if the cases were better. But in the episodes I've seen, all Kristin Lehman's snappy dialog and savant skills haven't elevated or rescued dreary, predictable plots.
But Lehman's character Angie Flynn gets a chance to correct a mistake in Thursday's season finale (WKRN-2, 8 p.m. if a Titans game doesn't knock it off the air). While investigating a murder case involving a teenage boy, she discovers there's a connection with another case from years ago that was blown. Of course, she'll get both of them right this time.