The power and popularity of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” which first famously appeared on TV in Season 1 of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice, has outlasted 30 years of screen appearances in everything from Risky Business to a Cadbury chocolate bar ad to a fictional Mike Tyson’s affinity for the tune in the original Hangover. Now, it’s been reinvented as the theme song for one of TV’s most popular shows.
ESPN said today that Monday Night Football will utilize a version of the song that combines the talents of Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg and Cindy Blackman Santana. The first clip of the collaboration was released via a new music video open that will be played before every game. (Side note: “Heavy Action,” the iconic instrumental Monday Night Football theme music, will remain a part of the production. It will follow the new open and lead into the call of each game.)
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You can watch the just-released clip below.
— ESPN (@espn) September 18, 2023
The new open will debut with the network’s “Two Games, One Night” special presentation tonight. It will lead into both the ESPN telecast of the Saints-Panthers game at 7:15 p.m. ET and ABC’s matchup between the Browns at Steelers at 8:15 p.m. ET. Going forward, it will be a part of all the network’s Monday Night Football telecasts, ESPN’s Week 18 Saturday doubleheader, Super Wild Card, and its first Divisional playoff game.
The new open didn’t lead off the season’s first Monday Night Football game last week in order to strike a more tempered tone given the date — it was 9/11, after all. Week 1 of Monday Night Football did feature Stapleton’s song “White Horse.” Music from Timbaland and Justin Timberlake will also run in Monday Night Football promotional spots, live telecasts and pre-game shows for seven weeks this season.
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