Stephen A. Smith Taking on ESPN+ Exclusive Show in 2021

by Chris Haney

Disney has recently announced that longtime ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith will get his own studio show airing exclusively on ESPN+.

The ESPN talking head currently stars on First Take and is often an NBA analyst on SportsCenter. Now ESPN has rewarded one of their biggest personalities with his own headlining new show.

On Thursday, the company announced the big news during Disney Investor Day. Additionally, Disney also shared the news on their official Twitter account and announced the new show will begin next month in January. Smith made sure to chime in, piggybacking off Disney’s announcement with his own comment.

“Uh Oh! Disney’s done gone ahead and started something. Stay Tuned, people! Stay Tuned!” Smith wrote on Twitter.

“I’m thrilled to announce that early next year, we will be launching a new studio show that will be exclusive to ESPN+, featuring Stephen A. Smith,” said Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content James Pitaro during Disney Investor Day. “We’re excited to bring another personality of his caliber to the platform. And look forward to expanding his reach across the different consumer touchpoints.”

Stephen A. Smith Isn’t the Only Personality Getting His Own Show

Disney did not share any updates on where this leaves Smith’s show First Take, which is co-hosted with Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim Rose. Therefore, it is not known if Smith will continue on with both shows, leave First Take, or if Disney will replace the show altogether.

However, Disney did announce more sports content that will come to ESPN in the near future. They revealed that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is getting his own series titled Man in the Arena. The series will focus on Brady’s 20-year career with the New England Patriots. In addition, the quarterback will share his “first-hand account” of his seasons with the team, which he led to nine Super Bowls and six Lombardi trophies.

Furthermore, Disney announced that they are expanding quarterback legend Peyton Manning’s successful Peyton’s Places show. They revealed spinoff series for MLB legend David Ortiz, UFC and WWE fighter Ronda Rousey, soccer star Abby Wambach, and Manning’s younger brother Eli Manning.

“I’m very excited to let you know today that we are bringing back Peyton’s Places for a third season,” Pitaro continued, “and also expanding the Emmy-nominated series.”

Manning then joined the conversation and announced more details on the new spinoff shows. He listed the new names for the spinoffs, while joking about Ortiz’s nickname – Big Papi – and making sure to mention his little brother while he was at it.

“The best is yet to come as some of the most engaging storytellers from other sports get their very own versions of Peyton’s Places,” Manning said. “Including Abby Wambach, Ronda Rousey and David Ortiz. Big Papi’s Places does have a nice ring to it. And if that wasn’t enough to get you jacked up, my little brother Eli will also be doing a college football show.”