Where is ESPN’s First Take Filmed? All About the Show

ESPN First Take
Stephen A. Smith

Let’s get into knowing what ESPN’s First Take is? First Take is an American talk show related to sports. The live episodes of the First Take stream from 10 AM ET till noon from Monday to Thursday. In case someone missed the episodes of First Take, they are repeated from noon till 2 PM on ESPN2 and 2 PM to 4 PM on ESPN news. Once all the episodes of First Take are aired, the entire talk show is available as a commercial-free podcast. Short clips of First Take are available on the official ESPN YouTube channel. 

ESPN’s First Take indeed is a famous sports talk show suitable for all age groups. Let’s dive into the history of First Talk, who were the hosts of different seasons available, where the First Take is filmed, and if there are any controversies related to the First Take. If you love to read about different sports-related buzz, you definitely landed at the right place.

History Of ESPN’s First Take

ESPN’s First Take was hosted and mediated by Jay Crawford and Dana Jacobson. In August 2011, the format of the show drastically changed. Some of the segments of the show were removed, and Skip Bayless played a significant role in the entire show. First Take mainly focussed on the debates related to sports. Since the format of the show changed, it worked for the makers. The ratings of First Take skyrocketed, with an estimated 58% increase in the rating during the first three months of 2012, when compared with 2011.

Core Team: ESPN’s First Take

Stephen A. Smith was announced as a regular guest contributor in April 2012. In the absence of Stephen, Rob Parker would take over the First Take. In October 2012, Cari Champion, who was the former reporter of the Tennis Channel, became the new moderator. Max Kellerman permanently replaced Skip Bayless in 2016, and he recently, in September 2021, left First Take.

Controversies Associated With ESPN’s First Take

Any show which steals the limelight is often associated with controversies. This show, too, had such controversies. Still, the craze for the episodes among the viewers never affected the ratings of the show. ESPN’s First Take has survived substantial controversies and criticism as a result of its popularity, mostly for perceived sensationalism. Among the charges, one of the claims was that ESPN’s First Take uses racial topics to incite heated conversation, and this led to an increase in ratings of the famous sports talk show.

During a debate about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, Rob Parker wondered if Griffin III was a “brother” or a “cornball brother.” When host Cari Champion questioned Parker on what it meant, Parker referenced Griffin III’s white fiancée and accusations that Griffin III was a Republican. In answer, Bayless inquired whether Griffin III’s braids helped to alleviate Parker’s anxieties.

Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim, and Max Kellerman

Many viewers have criticized ESPN’s First Take in order to consider excessive coverage of Tim Tebow’s career. During his time with the Jets, he did not appear in a single game and threw only eight passes. Tebow was, nevertheless, a popular topic. On July 29, 2014, ESPN suspended co-host Stephen A. Smith for one week due to his contentious statements criticizing the NFL’s decision to punish Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for the first two games of the 2014 season due to a domestic violence incident with his fiancée in February 2014. Stephen A. Smith and ESPN were sued by the parents of the famous baseball player Jackie Robinson. The complaint claimed that Stephen A. Smith had made a disparaging statement about the player’s parents.

Where Is ESPN’s First Take Filmed?

ESPN’s First Take was aired from Studio E at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut for the first 11 years, and the show relocated to ESPN’s New York studios on September 4, 2018, and received a new logo and visuals as part of the transition. Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman played a major role in the success of First Take. ESPN’s First Take was also premiered on Radio featuring Smith and Max Kellerman. 

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