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This Week in Baseball
Also known as TWIB
Genre Family / News / Sport / Baseball / Kids / Non Fiction
Created by Joe Reichler
Developed by Major League Baseball Productions
Phoenix Communications Group, The
Written by Mark Durand
James Rogal
Jeff Scott
Presented by Mel Allen
Warner Fusselle
Ozzie Smith
Buzz Brainard
Starring Mel Allen
Warner Fusselle
Ozzie Smith
Buzz Brainard
Jennie Finch
Narrated by Mel Allen
Warner Fusselle
Buzz Brainard
Theme music composer Mike Vickers
Opening theme "Jet Set"
Ending theme "Gathering Crowds"
Composer(s) Matthew Cang
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
Production
Executive producer(s) Larry Parker
Geoff Belinfante
Editor(s) Tony Tocci
Michael Kostel
Marco Lagana
Cinematography Savas Alatis
Richard Wilmot
Running time 30 minutes (including commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel First-run syndication
Fox
Five (in UK)
Original airing April 1, 1977
Chronology
Related shows Major League Baseball Game of the Week
External links
Official website

This Week in Baseball is a weekly television program, originally designed to show highlights of the previous week's Major League Baseball action.[1] TWIB (pronounced phonetically; the acronym is often familiarly used by viewers, and came to be used by the host also) debuted in 1977.[2]

Contents

History

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Genesis of the series

When Commissioner Bowie Kuhn first took office in 1969,[3] the only network television series that Major League Baseball had was the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week on NBC. Meanwhile, the National Football League in sharp contrast, blanketed TV syndication with NFL Films produced programs like the NFL Films Game of the Week. Kuhn craved a weekly half-hour show of highlights, lowlights, features, and other fare. So This Week in Baseball was, in a sense, meant to be baseball's answer to NFL Films.

During the heyday of TWIB, the program would air on stations that also had television rights to major league franchises like WTBS in Atlanta or KTTV in Los Angeles or WGN in Chicago. TWIB would also air on owned-and-operated NBC[4] stations as a prelude to the Game of the Week.[5]

End of the Mel Allen era

Veteran sportscaster Mel Allen[6] hosted and narrated the show from its inception until his death[7] in 1996. Warner Fusselle[8][9] filled-in for Allen when needed, and Allen was succeeded for a time by former St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith[10].

From Syndication to Fox

While TWIB was originally syndicated to various stations around the country, the Fox network relaunched the series in 2000 (after a one year absence off of television). It returned as a pregame show for its Saturday afternoon Major League Baseball telecasts, replacing In the Zone, which had a similar format to NBA Inside Stuff and was listed as part of the Fox Kids/4KidsTV line-up.

Although all other children's programs were cancelled by Fox on December 28, 2008, TWIB was retained at least for the 2009 season, airing for the first time in high definition.

Format

Cardinal great Ozzie Smith hosted TWIB from 1997-1999.

The show also airs on regional sports networks around the country, on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, and is also often played as part of the pre-game entertainment on the TV screens of major league stadiums. Buzz Brainard is the current host of TWIB, while a current major league player is profiled each week.

Also, from 2004-2005, segments of the show were hosted by U.S. fast-pitch softball sensation Jennie Finch.

In 2007, TWIB was slated for 26 episodes running from April to the end of September, focusing on stories of various clubs and different baseball themes each week. The segment "Front Row Fan" features celebrities reminiscing about their favorite baseball memories. Guests have included Tom Hanks, Bernie Mac, Alyssa Milano and Kevin James. There is also a play of the week section and TWIBIA, which is where a trivia question is asked before the commercial break.

Highlights of the past week's action are used less frequently, except for a closing highlight reel set to popular songs. The highlight reel is named How 'Bout That?, in reference to Mel Allen's well-known catchphrase. Video is gathered from each of the 30 Clubs' Stadium Loggers, who compile highlights of each game and send them to MLB Productions in Secaucus, NJ.

The program also uses educational segments to help it qualify for E/I status in the United States.

Music

The opening theme music to TWIB is "Jet Set," composed by Mike Vickers, a former member of the original Manfred Mann band. "Jet Set" was first used as the theme for the original 1974-75 version of the game show Jackpot. It has also been used as introductory music for productions as company training films. When Fox brought TWIB back, a slightly revamped version of "Jet Set" is written.

The closing theme to the show is "Gathering Crowds," composed by Patrick J. O'Hara Scott, a pseudonym for the same Mike Vickers. It is typically played over a montage of baseball's greatest moments, building to a crescendo with a punctuated 3-note chord as the MLB logo slides into view. The piece has also been known to similar effect for montages and credits at the end of local TV newscasts and the like.

Advertising

During the show's first season on Fox in 2000, there was an advertising campaign that appeared every Friday in USA Today. The ad, titled "This Week, See The Game Through His Eyes" featured a photo of a pair of eyes that belonged to the player hosting the show for that week's episode. In the July 14, 2000 edition of USA Today, the ad did not have a pair of eyes. Instead, it featured the 2000 MLB All Star Game logo and the caption, "This Week, See The All Stars Through The Eyes of a Star" because the host was pop star Marc Anthony.

References

External links


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