?The real suspense in Mark Burnett's compulsively watchable new reality series Boarding House: North Shore, airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the WB, isn't whether one of the seven world-class surfers will win the $750,000 triple crown, but rather when former world champ Sunny Garcia will blow his stack. In last week's debut of the six-week Real World-ish series in which the surfers (four men, three women) live together in an Oahu beach house, the notoriously short-fused Garcia ordered a rider who'd cut him off during a practice session to get out of the water; he also nearly pummeled a guy he thought was ogling his wife. On a teaser showing scenes from an upcoming show, Garcia, 33, who has been fined more than any pro surfer, whacks a fellow rider on the head. "With strong enough characters, you remove the need to vote people off," says Burnett, the reality raja who developed Survivor. "Sunny is perfect."
?With Pat Summerall's retirement from Fox, ESPN's Mark Malone is the last big-time athlete-turned-network-play-by-play man. Lots of ex-jocks end up as analysts, but few have the skills and patience for play-by-play, which takes years to master. Malone, 44, a Tom Selleck look-alike who played 10 NFL seasons at quarterback, cut his teeth at Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV before joining ESPN in '93. "I saw that former athletes would spend five or 10 years as an analyst and then the next Hall of Famer would retire and become the hot new asset," says Malone who is leaving as host of NFL 2Night to focus on play-byplay. "I wanted to grow."... The NFL Network, which may be on the air by November, has signed former ESPN anchor Rich Eisen. Once a stand-up comic, Eisen, 34, will host a show that could mix NFL players with movie stars and musical acts.