TURNER SPORTS ANNOUNCES MULTI-YEAR EXTENSIONS FOR "INSIDE THE NBA'S" ERNIE JOHNSON, CHARLES BARKLEY, KENNY SMITH AND SHAQUILLE O'NEAL
TNT's iconic and critically-acclaimed Inside the NBA studio show - the recipient of 13 Sports Emmy Awards - will continue to offer fans its dynamic combination of basketball insight and analysis, entertainment and social commentary with its unduplicated studio team of host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal. Turner Sports today announced multi-year extensions for each member of the studio team.
"We truly believe Inside the NBA is among the best studio shows of all time and a large part of its success is due to the unrivaled chemistry between Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaquille," said Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports. "We're looking forward to continuing the creativity and pioneering spirit behind the show for a very long time."
TNT's Inside the NBA has continued to increase in popularity through the years, becoming appointment viewing for both the hardcore basketball fan and casual sports fans alike, while also pulling in the casual television viewer. The content of the show - including popular re-occurring segments such as "EJ's Neat-O Stat of the Night," "Gone Fishin'" and "Shaqtin' a Fool," among others - often transcends sport, mixing into the pop culture domain. In doing so, the show's passionate fan base regularly cause Inside the NBA to "go viral" through the sharing of its top moments across a growing number of social media platforms
Inside the NBA is the most-watched NBA studio show on cable television, based on Nielsen Research, and frequently generates the second most-watched program on cable throughout the NBA Playoffs (trailing only live game coverage). Additionally, Inside the NBA consistently delivers the lowest median age of any late night program during the NBA Playoffs.
Johnson, a three-time Sports Emmy Award winner, is currently in his 26th year as a studio host for Turner's NBA telecasts. In addition to hosting Inside the NBA, Johnson is also the host of NBA TV's popular NBA Fan Night series airing Tuesdays throughout the regular season. He also hosts studio coverage for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship airing across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV - including the Final Four and National Championship - and the PGA Championship on TNT, and provides play-by-play commentary for the MLB Postseason on TBS.
Barkley, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and two-time Sports Emmy Award winner, is in his 16th year as studio analyst for TNT's Inside the NBA. He also provides analysis for select NBA regular season games on TNT and makes appearance on NBA TV, including on-site studio analysis during The Finals. Additionally, Barkley is a studio analysis for the networks' presentation of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Smith, a two-time NBA champion, is in his 18th year as studio analyst for TNT's Inside the NBA. He also makes regular appearances as a studio analyst for NBA TV, including on site at The Finals for select games. Smith is also an analyst for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. He and his family was also the subject of a reality show - Meet the Smiths - airing on TBS.
O'Neal, a four-time NBA Champion and 15-time NBA All-Star, joined TNT's Inside the NBA studio team in 2011 following a 19-year NBA career. In addition to his TNT responsibilities, O'Neal provides studio analysis for NBA TV including on site appearances during The Finals. He also hosts his own show on the network (with a weekly segment running during TNT's Inside the NBA as well) - Shaqtin' a Fool - featuring humorous and uncommon basketball plays that take place throughout the NBA season.