MLBN to Debut ‘Christopher Russo Argues with a House Plant’


NEW YORK — In a move to shake up the format and increase viewership of a failing show, MLB Network will re-brand their program “High Heat with Christopher Russo” to “Christopher Russo Argues with a House Plant.”

The NotGraphs Investigative Reporting Investigation Team, in speaking with sources inside MLB Network, has learned that the new format being launched was just one of several possibilities for a new direction to the show. Sources say pilots were filmed for shows with names that included “Christopher Russo Watches Reruns of Top Chef,” “Christopher Russo Reminisces with Your Dad,” and “A Still Image of Christopher Russo but with Top 40 Music — Please Watch.”

“It was a two-bird-one-stone situation,” one executive said. “We needed to try and boost ratings, and we needed to find somebody that could tolerate being screeched at for a half hour.”

Russo, known for his cantankerous persona and a voice that could strip a sizable room of its paint, has had a revolving door of guests on the show including players, managers, and MLB Network personalities alike. Initial testing has concluded that the house plant has the best chance to stay long-term.

“It seems silly to do a remote with a plant,” a producer said. “But if we kept it in the same room, it would start wilting at a rapid pace.”

The roll out of the new format should happen near the beginning of June, as soon as the network finishes cutting new commercials and the studio goes through another round of soundproofing.

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David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.

6 Responses to “MLBN to Debut ‘Christopher Russo Argues with a House Plant’”

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  1. Urban Shocker says:

    would the universe explode if he had Stephen A. Smith on?

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    • Jenstrom says:

      I would watch that, as long as Skip Bayless stays out of it. Can’t stand that guy.

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  2. Paul G. says:

    So I’m guessing you are not a fan?

    I remember back in the day when Mike Francesa and Christopher Russo had a radio show together. On the channel sharing Imus radio show they were known as “The Jerk and the Fatman.” (No points for guessing who was which.)

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  3. Deelron says:

    It’s an improvement, now make it two plants arguing and I’d be more likely to watch.

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  4. Menthol says:

    Francesa and Russo were actually not a bad team, although there were apparently some personality clashes along the way. IMO, having a partner made both of them more tolerable than either is on his own. I find Francesa’s show excruciating now – all he does is repeat himself over and over, and his baseball expertise is not as strong as his knowledge of football. This makes me actually miss Russo, which is a mind-bending thing to admit.

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  5. bob says:

    Just watched Christopher Russo for the first time. Now the real test is on. What is the worst sports show in the history of television, Skip Bayless & Stephen Smith, or Christopher Russo? Both of these shows are so stupidly over the top that they deserve to be cancelled and fined for the damage they do to legitimate sports programs. Since this site is about Christ, let’s look at Chris. He brings nothing new to the show, other than a huge, loud mouth. No great intellect. If he wasn’t raising the decibel level, he would not even have a show. Why does anyone think this show has any credibility? It’s just another social media injustice. I will never watch this jerk again.

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