MLB Tonight goes live to give a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the flagship show

Fans of MLB Network’s flagship studio show MLB tonightas well as aspiring producers and engineers considering a career in television, should check out Tuesday’s special edition of the program.

MLB tonight will go behind the scenes from 6-8 p.m. ET and show viewers how the signature show is made each night. From 6-7 p.m., The Inside Look will air live on MLB Network. Then from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., when the regular MLB tonight airs, fans can follow the production live streaming on MLBNetwork.com. MLB.com and the Network Twitter and YouTube channels.

“It’s a very special chemistry on MLB tonight with the staff and talent, the engineering team and everyone in the building,” Josh Bernstein, MLB Network vice president of production, told BSM.

“Specifically with Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds and Dan Plesac, to see how these guys interact on and off camera, to see their prep process and behind the scenes, they’ve probably spent thousands of hours on MLB tonight over the years, but no one has ever seen how they work. This is a special opportunity for fans of the series.

Bernstein and coordinating producer Marty Montalto point out that the MLB tonight special will air (and stream) live to demonstrate how a fun, yet sometimes frantic process takes place among the more than 50 technicians and more than 30 production employees during the program that viewers watch live.

“On the production side, it’s just to convey the scope and stages of everything that goes into setting up a MLB tonight“, Montalto said. “I think for the average viewer, they look at the finished product and it looks very smooth and very neat. They don’t see how the sausage is made behind the scenes, and that’s what we want to show people.

Special interest for producers will follow as a set of highlights is put together for 7 p.m. ET MLB tonight. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers will play the first half of a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon (starting at 3:10 p.m. ET), which will conclude as the backstage special begins airing at 6 p.m. HEY. This could create suspense for the show.

“We never really give people a glimpse of our editing facility, which is really dynamic,” Montalto explained. “With the luck of the draw that day, we’re going to have an afternoon game on the air. So there will be highlights cut from the DBacks-Dodgers game – ongoing, as the game is taking place.

“We’re going to have this real-time angst and immediacy of everyone in the edit working on it. In the middle of the show, something might happen in the game that completely blows the game in a different direction. They might have to- to be abandoning the highlights plan and starting from scratch.

Montalto said the excitement that comes from such uncertainty is what keeps him coming back to work every day. Something unexpected could happen in this DBacks-Dodgers game. What if a no-hitter is in progress? Whatever plans are made, they could be completely overturned.

“The show is live. We’ll see what happens. That’s the fun of live TV,” Bernstein said. “It could be a crazy editing session, as Marty said. The game could change at the last minute and we have to adjust everything. But it’s nice that everyone gets a glimpse of what we do.

As mentioned, the show will be live except for a few segments that had to be pre-recorded for planning and logistics purposes. For example, the pre-show meeting with on-air talent and producers takes place approximately 90 minutes to two hours before the broadcast. Footage of that reunion will be released, but production had to stick to its normal schedule and viewers will be advised that the footage is from earlier today.

“I think for the fans to be able to see the producers create something out of nothing will be pretty cool,” Bernstein said. “Literally, a producer walks through the door every day here and it’s a blank slate. You have one hour of programming; you have to fill it out. There’s nothing that says what’s going to be in the show until they put something on.

Additionally, the special will include a drone tour of MLB Network studios. For various reasons, including security, this segment had to be produced in advance with empty facilities allowing the drone to maneuver wherever needed within two buildings, six studios and 20,000 feet of space. Engineers also had to install lights and cameras where they wouldn’t normally be.

To be expected for a show that has a lot of working elements and moving parts, advance planning and rehearsals were required. This was especially true from a technical standpoint, with people being picked up on mic who normally aren’t, determining where lights and cameras should be placed in rooms where they usually wouldn’t be, and ensuring that video and audio are working properly.

This preparation also resulted in some plans being changed, such as where host Siera Santos will be located during behind-the-scenes coverage. The original idea was to have Santos moved from room to room as needed. But putting her in a “mission control” type station where she could lead viewers to where the show was happening was more convenient. Reporter Scott Braun and analyst Cliff Floyd will be moving around the studios instead, providing side story-type coverage of what’s being made for broadcast.

“We have a really fun place, we have a special group of people to set things up,” Bernstein said. “I just thought it would be pretty cool for people to see how we do what we do. MLB tonight is a multiple Emmy winner and for people to see how it’s put together every night is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while. This is an opportunity to take a look behind the scenes and we are delighted. We had to find the right party and the right band, and everything fell into place.

The special behind-the-scenes edition of MLB tonight airs on MLB Network from 6 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET. Fans can then follow the production via streaming on MLB Network’s digital channels while the regular show airs from 7-8 p.m. ET.

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