20 Years With(out) “Interruption”: Celebrate Two Decades Of “PTI” Officially Today

Producer Matt Ouano (L) and director Tom Howard are two brains behind PTI for every of the previous 20 years. (ESPN)

EDITOR’S NOTE: ESPN just lately celebrated PTI’s 20-year milestone with an E:60 documentary special and a four-part ESPN Daily podcast particular sequence hosted by Pablo Torre [5 Good Questions with Pablo]. Right now, PTI will give a nod of its personal to the anniversary (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Pardon The Interruption formally debuted 20 years in the past as we speak, and if there’s one factor the pioneering sports activities debate present is understood for, it’s consistency. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have co-hosted collectively for twenty years and behind the digital camera a core group of six staffers (see sidebar) have been with the present since 2001, together with veteran director Tom Howard.

A Des Moines, Iowa, native and Iowa State alum, Howard has labored in movie and video commercials, documentaries, dwell sports activities, and on start-up tasks for varied cable networks. He has directed plenty of ESPN reveals – Extremely Questionable, Greeny, Bart & Hahn and Debatable, and, at one time, he was even an artwork director for an internet design firm.

Now a seven-year ESPN worker, Howard started directing PTI as a contractor in 2001. Within the Q&A under, he discusses the present’s longevity, his favourite second, and extra.

What do you bear in mind most from that first yr of PTI in 2001?
An entire bunch of individuals from varied backgrounds had been thrown into this combine. No one actually knew one another, with only a few exceptions, and all of us needed to come collectively and make the present work. It was actually a group effort and, at instances, a battle, nevertheless it did gel as we went alongside.

What’s your favourite reminiscence from engaged on the present?
[Executive producer] Erik [Rydholm] got here to me in the future and mentioned, [coordinating producer] Matt Kelliher has an thought for a brand new recreation, “What’s the Phrase?” however they didn’t actually understand how they wished it executed. He basically turned that half over to me.

So I got here up with a mixture of Jeopardy and Password, ran it by Erik, and “What’s The Phrase?” was born – and it stays a staple of our present. There have been so many recreation concepts on the time, and all of them had been enjoyable to work on.

Is there one thing distinctive about directing PTI in comparison with different reveals, when it comes to capturing the interplay between Kornheiser and Wilbon?
Not like so many speaking head reveals, the vitality and banter between the 2, particularly when on set collectively, is sort of a sporting occasion. You don’t know what’s going to occur as a result of it’s unscripted for probably the most half. Studying the fellows’ personalities, understanding what’s going to set off a response, and catching it because it occurs make reducing the present enjoyable and fast-paced.

What are you most pleased with when it comes to PTI’s success?
Our three Emmys, and the truth that a present that wasn’t given an opportunity has lasted 20 years and remains to be the top-rated each day studio manufacturing on the community.


Authentic PTI staffer Matt Ouano, now a producer, began engaged on the present in 2001 as a manufacturing assistant in Bristol, Conn., chargeable for pulling video parts. Within the video above, Ouano discusses the evolution of PTI over twenty years.

In all, these six members of the Washington, D.C.-based PTI workers have been with the present all 20 years:

  • Bonnie Berko, Assistant Director
  • Tom Howard, Director
  • Matt Kelliher, Coordinating Producer
  • Frankie Nation, Producer
  • Matt Ouano, Producer
  • Erik Rydholm, Govt Producer

Dan Lindberg and E:60 produced the Ouano interview video.

https://www.espnfrontrow.com/2021/10/20-years-without-interruption-celebrate-two-decades-of-pti-officially-today/ | 20 Years With(out) “Interruption”: Rejoice Two A long time Of “PTI” Formally Right now


PaulLeBlanc is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: paulleblanc@interreviewed.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button