Jimmy Kimmel has been known for his monologues and impromptu musical stylings on his comedy shows. The late-night talk show host has entertained audiences for 15 years. However, one of his show’s producers has jumped ship.
The producer, who helped keep Kimmel’s show fresh and interesting, has joined Fox. He will appear on a nationally televised show that features sports gaming.
Sal Iacono, known as Cousin Sal, was a producer, writer, and actor on “The Man Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Iacono, who is actually Kimmel’s cousin, stated it was difficult to leave the show to produce and host elsewhere. He hated to give up his writing opportunity, he said. However, he relishes the chance to join the show and have the chance to talk about gambling full time.
In addition to his job on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Iacono made several predictions on the air. He was formerly on “Grantland,” an ESPN product, as well as “Against All Odds.” This is a podcast Iacono hosted with two other people as part of the Degenerate Trifecta. Iacono also made predictions on SportsCenter for two years beginning in 2015. He left the show at the end of the second season. Iacono said he left ESPN because he felt the network didn’t take him seriously when he made successful predictions. He also said he felt there was a degree of embarrassment at ESPN over the growing popularity of sports gaming.
The name of the show, which debuted earlier this month, is “Lock it In.” Iacono hosts the program with Clay Travis, a radio host, oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman, and Rachel Bonnetta. “Lock it In” is an hour-long show. Its format resembles a show that debates gambling issues and the merits of betting for or against particular teams.
Fox scheduled “Lock it In” to start at the beginning of the college and NFL seasons. So far, it has not attracted the number of viewers the network had hoped it would. The show pulled in just under 90,000 viewers for its first two days on the air. However, the announcers, as well as the producers, hope that the show will become popular as more states legalize sports gambling. Experts in television have compared the early programming on fantasy sports with the early programming on gaming and gaming shows.
The Future of Gambling Shows
There have been gambling experts in the market for some time. But, they have been living on the fringes of the sports genre world. Only recently, with the advent of fantasy sports, has gaming and wagering been a topic of discussion. This is especially true given that, since May, several states have legalized sports gaming and have already opened sportsbooks. New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Nevada, and Mississippi already have single-sport gaming up and running. And, this is just in time for football season. Television researchers think it will not be too long before lots of television shows will devote time to sports gaming. This could be true as more states enter the gaming market.
As it stands right now, CBS Sports and ESPN+ have shows on their streaming services. NBC has plans for a sports show. Other companies that specialize in podcasts do as well. TVG, which is a horse racing channel that advertises racing nationwide, will also have its own show. The networks hope to have all these shows up and running by the end of the year. The increase in shows mirrors the rise in the number of states that will have sports gambling by 2020.
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