TSN takes a blast into 20-year past

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:12 AM ET

It's old home week on TSN starting Nov. 1.

As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, the network has invited 20 former on-air personalities to fill the guest chairs on Off the Record from Nov. 1-5. Among the ex-TSNers scheduled to appear are Teresa Kruze, David Amber, Lisa Bowes, Thea Andrews, Nancy Newman, Mark Jones and Alex J. Walling.

Call it a "where are they now" event, but with a contemporary twist.

"We'll still do our real show," OTR host Michael Landsberg said. "What will make the show nostalgic is the personalities, not the topics ... It'll be faces from the past 20 years talking about topics of interest today."

The OTR reunion is only one part of TSN's 20th anniversary week. A two-hour special, with co-hosts Gord Miller and James Duthie, airs Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.

It all concludes Nov. 6 with another reunion. SportsPage returns to the airwaves for one night (9 p.m.), with original host John Wells, joined by original panelists Paul Beeston and Bill Watters, along with longtime panelist Pat Marsden.

"(SportsPage) was one of the original sports talk shows," TSN president Phil King said.

OPENING PITCH: Rogers Sportsnet plans to air 30-minute pre-game shows before each World Series matchup. Edmonton reporter Gene Principe and analyst Rick Sutcliffe will be on site to augment the studio work of Jamie Campbell and Warren Sawkiw ... TSN is bringing back two familiar faces for its World Series coverage. ESPN's Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez, a popular duo on TSN's Blue Jays games in the 1990s, are featured contributors to SportsCentre starting tonight ... Here's hoping Al Leiter remains a part of Fox's baseball broadcast crew through the World Series. He's brought plenty of frank, fresh insight working alongside Joe Buck and Tim McCarver in the playoffs so far.

AROUND THE DIAL: With Dave Randorf on CFL duty, the ever-versatile Vic Rauter gets the call for the host's spot on TSN/CTV's coverage of Skate Canada from Halifax next week. Coverage begins Thursday on TSN, with CTV taking over on the weekend ... Toronto native John Saunders has added NBA studio duties on ESPN to his workload. He's a Saturday mainstay on ABC as the network's college football host ... TSN recorded its top two CFL audiences of the season last Sunday -- Saskatchewan-Edmonton (582,000) and B.C.-Montreal (477,000) ... Raptors NBA TV has added 46 Thursday night TNT games to its schedule, giving the digital channel a 158-game slate in 2004-05.

WEEKEND PICKS

TV:

1) World Series, Saturday/Sunday, Sportsnet, Fox (see listings)

2) Jets at Patriots, Sunday, 4 p.m., CBS

Radio:

1) Renegades at Alouettes, Tomorrow, 3 p.m., Team 1200

2) Whalers at 67's, Sunday, 2 p.m., Team 1200

3) Jets at Patriots, Sunday, Team 1200 (joined in progress after 67's game)


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