Why is Skip Bayless and his show taking a long hiatus?
Fans of the show ‘Undisputed’ will have to wait until August for a new episode, as the program faces its most uncertain period during its seven-year run.
Currently, the show is on an extended hiatus while Fox Sports determines its next steps.
The hiatus, announced by FS1 and Bayless, is set to last for two months with a targeted return date of Aug. 28th.
The network’s decision to go on hiatus was driven by Skip Bayless and FS1 management’s inability to find a replacement for Shannon Sharpe, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.
Sharpe’s departure happened unexpectedly, forcing the show to take a break.
“Shannon’s exit moved way faster than they expected. So they had no choice but to go on hiatus,” a source told FOS. “Skip has never done anything like this during all his years at FS1 or ESPN. Not being on the air during all these NBA moves is killing him.”
Bayless, who has never taken such a hiatus during his years at FS1 or ESPN, is reportedly frustrated by not being on the air during the NBA offseason.
There is speculation that ‘Undisputed’ may adopt a format similar to ‘First Take,’ with a revolving door of analysts debating Bayless on various sports topics.
The decision to let Sharpe walk away is seen by some as a mistake, as McCarthy noted that Fox Sports had two out of the three stars in the morning debate, including Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.
Sharpe left the show on June 13, 2023, reportedly due to his strained relationship with Bayless.
It is now proving to be a challenging task for Fox Sports to find a suitable replacement for Sharpe. Skip’s first choice is probably not going to happen.