|ESPN Monday Night Countdown|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||135 min.|
|Original network||ESPN (1993–present)|
|Original release||September 6, 1993 –|
ESPN Monday Night Countdown (officially Monday Night Countdown presented by Subway) is an American pregame television program that is broadcast on ESPN, preceding Monday Night Football. When it debuted in 1993 as NFL Prime Monday, and Monday Night Football was airing on ABC, the pregame show was one of the first cross-pollinations between ESPN and ABC Sports, which each largely operated under separate management at the time. The show was renamed Monday Night Countdown in 1998, and Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN in 2006. The current sponsor is presented by Subway, starting with the 2020 season. Previous sponsors of the show include UPS, Applebee's, Call of Duty, and Courtyard by Marriott
The show was initially hosted by Mike Tirico along with analysts Joe Theismann, Craig James, Phil Simms and Ron Jaworski. Mike Ditka also discussed certain topics and Chris Mortensen brought news and rumors from around the league. John Clayton was also a regular guest on the show. Former presenters include Mike Tirico, Bill Parcells, Michael Irvin, and Sterling Sharpe. During the 2005 season, it enjoyed its best ratings ever and was the highest-rated studio sports show on cable television. On occasion, the crew appeared on-site at the game, but for the most part the show was aired from the studios in Bristol, Connecticut.
In 2006, the show began appearing at the Monday Night Football site live as the game moved to ESPN from ABC. Stuart Scott moved to host of NFL Primetime which precedes Monday Night Countdown and Chris Berman moved from NFL Primetime to Monday Night Countdown and was joined by returning analysts Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin along with new analyst from Sunday NFL Countdown Steve Young. Ron Jaworski also contributed to the show along with Chris Mortensen, Ed Werder and Sal Paolantonio. Also, in 2006 Monday Night Countdown introduced a new logo and new graphics as part of The Syndicate's new NFL package for ESPN. In the same fashion as all ESPN NFL studio shows, Monday Night Countdown adopted ABC's alternate football musical theme, though presented as a shuffle.
Beginning with the 2007, the show cutback its onsite presence by having its main anchor team at ESPN studio's in Bristol, but still kept a set at the actual game site.
The Bristol team was Berman, Jackson, Mortensen, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, and Cris Carter. The on-site team is Scott, Young, and Emmitt Smith.
The Bristol team was Berman, Jackson, Mortensen, Ditka, Johnson, and Carter. The on-site team was Scott, Young, and Matt Millen (later Trent Dilfer) in the third spot.
On September 17, 2012, Monday Night Countdown moved up to the 6:30 ET timeslot and expanded to 2 hours. As a result, SportsCenter Monday Kickoff had its runtime cut in half, from 60 minutes to 30 minutes only. Additionally, Monday Night Countdown debuted a new program logo that closely resembles that of Monday Night Football and a new graphics scheme package matching that of Monday Night Football. Also, Monday Night Countdown began using MNF's "Heavy Action" theme music as this program's own theme music.
Ray Lewis is added to the on-site team after his retirement from the NFL in 2012.
On December 23, 2013, the final scheduled Monday Night Football broadcast of that season, Chris Berman was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco covering the 49ers' final home game in that stadium, while Stuart Scott was at ESPN's Bristol studios. The 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 34-24, in the MNF season finale. That game was also the 36th and final Monday Night Football game — and the last NFL game — ever played at Candlestick Park.
On September 8, 2014, Monday Night Countdown moved to a brand-new set inside Digital Center 2 of ESPN's Bristol studios, which shares the same set as Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Primetime. However, the Monday Night Football graphics package is still used, but the rundown graphic was changed to match the one used on SportsCenter. 1 week later (September 15, 2014), Monday Night Countdown moved up to the 6:00 p.m. ET timeslot, which resulted in SportsCenter Monday Kickoff not returning for the 2014 season and moving the 6:00 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter to ESPN2 on Mondays during the NFL season.
Suzy Kolber, who substituted for the then-ailing Stuart Scott during most of the 2014 season, took over Scott's role permanently as an on-site host. She was previously a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football from 2006-2010. Additionally, Monday Night Countdown debuted a new logo resembling its other NFL-themed studio-show properties, along with a new graphics package that is also used for MNF.
With the exception of Chris Berman (who remained in the Bristol studio), the entire Monday Night Countdown crew were moved to the Monday Night Football game site, joining on-site host Suzy Kolber. Meanwhile, Berman was joined in the Bristol studio each week by analysts who work or had previously worked at ESPN. However, Berman and the Monday Night Countdown crew did the show on November 21 from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City for the game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans, and December 12 from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. This was also Berman's final season as a host for ESPN's NFL-themed studio shows.
Suzy Kolber was named host of Monday Night Countdown on March 23, 2017. She replaced Chris Berman, who departed after 30 seasons of hosting NFL-themed studio shows, though he still appeared in occasional segments. In addition to her pregame duties, Kolber now hosts all halftime and post-game shows, normally from the game site; however, the October 9, 2017, November 27, 2017 and December 25, 2017 shows all originated from ESPN's Bristol studio. The Christmas Day episode, which only ran for 45 minutes, did not have Woodson or Young; Rex Ryan did the show.
Woodson left ESPN for Fox, and Hasselbeck left Countdown to take over as a full-time co-analyst role for ESPN’s Thursday Night College Football games. Therefore, the lineup was Suzy Kolber, Adam Schefter, Randy Moss, Steve Young, and Louis Riddick. The show got a new graphics package. The October 28 show originated from Bristol instead of Pittsburgh, probably because the show had been there earlier in the season.
Monday Night Countdown, along with most of ESPN's NFL-themed studio shows, moved to the network's South Street Seaport studios in New York City for the 2020 season. With the exception of Louis Riddick, who switched roles with Booger McFarland & moved to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth (the latter of whom took over Riddick's previous role of studio analyst), the lineup remained the same from the previous season.
After being at the network's New York City facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic the previous year, Monday Night Countdown returned to the game site for the first time in two seasons. Kolber, McFarland, Moss and Young all returned from the previous season. The show originated from New York instead of Baltimore October 11 and Washington November 29. Young didn't do the show October 18; Alex Smith did the show for the first time.
This is a list of personalities that currently or formerly appeared on Monday Night Countdown.