ESPN’s NFL Primetime is back for another season with Bristol lifer Chris Berman again anchoring the network’s Sunday night wrap-up show on subscription-based streaming platform ESPN+. However, Berman will no longer be accompanied by longtime cohost Tom Jackson, who is opting out over COVID concerns according to Ian Casselberry of Awful Announcing. Booger McFarland, whose tenure on Monday Night Football lasted all of one season, will take Jackson’s place in the studio chair alongside Berman.
McFarland, a former NFL defensive tackle who won a pair of Super Bowls (one each with Tampa Bay and Indianapolis) over a career that spanned eight seasons, will have a full plate this fall, serving as a studio analyst for ABC’s college football broadcasts on Saturdays while also manning the Monday Night Countdown desk for ESPN. MNF has been a revolving door of late with McFarland, Jason Witten, Sean McDonough and Joe Tessitore each trying their hand at replacing mainstays Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden, who now coaches Witten on the Las Vegas Raiders.
After last year’s awkward Tessitore/McFarland pairing fell flat, the sports media giant opted to overhaul its Monday night lineup in 2020, making room for a three-man booth featuring lead play-by-play announcer Steve Levy, Brian Griese (formerly a staple of ESPN’s college coverage) and Louis Riddick.
In addition to his Primetime responsibilities, Berman will appear on MNF as well, hosting his usual “Fastest Three Minutes” segment at halftime while also contributing a highlight block called “Boomer’s Vault: Sunday’s Best” during Monday Night Countdown. Berman, who helmed Primetime with Jackson from 1987-2005 before reprising his role last fall, will join Booger to recap all of Sunday’s action September 13 at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN+.