Greenberg starts his new venture

He’s back, and we’ll find out if he’s better than ever.

“We’re back and better than ever” was a longtime catchphrase for ESPN’s Mike Greenberg during his nearly two-decade run as co-host of “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio. The show, which was simulcast on ESPN2 during much of its run, was in many ways one of the flagship programs for the all-sports network.

That ended when Greenberg and Golic split last November.

Golic continued on radio, with “Golic and Wingo” airing on hundreds of stations across the country. In fairness, it has mostly just taken the same time slot — falling a bit short of replacing the previous incarnation.

Either way, Greenberg returns to work with “Get Up!” Monday morning. The TV show will debut Monday and air weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. on ESPN. It will be simulcast on Sirius XM.

So, it goes head to head with the old radio show as Golic and Wingo remain on ESPN Radio. That show’s simulcast, however, will move from ESPN2 to ESPNews, meaning fewer people will see it.

Greenberg’s partners on “Get Up!” will be former Michigan and NBA standout Jalen Rose as well as the multi-talented Michelle Beadle.

Greenberg, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, said he wants the show to be “all things to all sports fans.”

That’s a big goal, and what it means for viewers will be a fairly fast-paced program with numerous stories in a short period of time.

Balancing that potential flood of information while giving Greenberg, Beadle and Rose room to share their opinions and engaging personalities will be the show’s biggest challenge. It’s a good group. We’ll find out if they’re better together, and a comfortable group for viewers, pretty quickly.

The show should provide a nice break from “SportsCenter” at that time of day, and if people want that they can tune to ESPN2.

At the same time, “Get Up!” should be able to break and follow news, if necessary, while hopefully offering a bit more fun and personality other sports-themed morning drive options.

‘Paterno’ players

Academy Award, Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Al Pacino fills the lead role as late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in “Paterno,” which airs at 8 p.m. Saturday on HBO.

As stated in this space earlier, the film might turn out to be a high-quality production, but it’s a certainty that it will ignite some emotional reactions among many in our region and beyond.

To be clear, it’s not a documentary — only the view of one director (Barry Levinson) about things that were reported nearly seven years ago.

As was the case then, and as remains the case, it’s hard to believe there will ever be any definitive understanding of the truth or what happened among the small core of people whose actions or inactions impacted thousands of people, led to multiple millions of dollars of expenses and prompted changes that continue to ripple.

‘Rookie’ review

Former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and former defensive back Marcus Allen will be featured in “Hey Rookie,” the weekly TV series leading up to the NFL Draft.

Produced by NFL Films and airing on ESPN beginning April 10, the series provides a behind-the-scenes look at players as they prepare for the draft.

With compelling, strong personalities among the players selected for the show, and a mix of players who could go early in the draft or who might be selected lower in the process, the show humanizes those it focuses on and produces compelling content.

Thanks to some NFL Films producers who graduated from Penn State, notably Emmy Award-winner Shannon Furman, “Hey Rookie” almost annually has one Nittany Lion in the mix.

Tuner tidbits

n Three days after the “Paterno” debut, an even more anticipated film, a documentary about legendary pro wrestler Andre the Giant, will air on HBO. “Andre the Giant” will premiere at 10 p.m. April 10. The 85-minute film, a collaboration driven by HBO Sports and WWE, provides a testament to the larger-than-life wrestler’s pop culture crossover appeal through interviews with Billy Crystal, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Rob Reiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, family members and more.

n With the championship game of the NCAA Tournament on Monday night, one annual standout run again comes to an end. That’s the series of commercials from Capital One that features Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee. Their personalities bring strong ideas and writing to life in spots that might be more entertaining than impactful (in terms of buying or using a credit card). No matter what, though, they’re fun, and we see less of them when the tournament ends.

n If the start of the Major League Baseball season at the end of this past week did not signal the start of spring, then The Masters certainly does. Coverage of golf’s first major, at iconic and tradition-rich Augusta National, begins Thursday on ESPN, with CBS carrying the weekend rounds.

n It was curious to see some Penn State spring football interviews conducted in front of a blank white screen during media scrums around practice. Guessing that means that either the old background was lost, or — more likely — that the program has not finalized sponsorship deals for what partners will appear on that backdrop going forward.

n The annual Blue-White Game, the final Penn State football practice of spring and an intrasquad game that could be watched by some 70,000 or more people in person at Beaver Stadium depending on the weather on April 21, will air live at 3 p.m. that day on the Big Ten Network.

Sampsell can be reached at stevesampsell@gmail.com.

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