The Muppets are celebrating the holidays with, uh, football. During tonight’s Monday Night Football broadcast on ESPN, the Muppets are going to stop by for something dubbed Muppet Night Football. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will kick things off in the broadcast booth while Fozzie Bear reports from the field, and all of this is leading towards a Carol of the Bells music video featuring the Muppets.
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Sports fans can’t get enough of ESPN’s 30 for 30 sports documentaries. While the series was already popular before, there’s been a surge in interest recently due to the lack of new sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. The success of the 10-part documentary series The Last Dance about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls certainly helped boost the network’s sports documentary profile, and ESPN Films is planning another multi-part sports documentary, this time looking to the 1986 New York Mets baseball team and their amazing comeback to win the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. Read More »
Activist, producer, and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is already going to be the narrator of an upcoming documentary series about his childhood that’s being produced by Ava DuVernay. But now Kaepernick will be the focus of another documentary series focusing on his last five years, during which point he became a household name in the football world and sparked a movement which also turned him into one of the world’s most famous activists.
Kaepernick’s Ra Vision Media production company has signed a first-look deal with The Walt Disney Company, which extends across all of the company’s platforms, “including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar, and The Undefeated,” according to a press release. The new show will be the first project of their freshly-inked deal. Get more details below.
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ESPN had a monster hit on their hands from April through May thanks to the release of the 10-hour documentary series The Last Dance, a chronicle of the final championship season run by NBA superstar Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Netflix also had a hand in producing the documentary, and even though it was made available on the streaming service in international markets, the only way US audiences could enjoy it was through ESPN. Thankfully, that’s changing very soon.
The Last Dance is officially coming to Netflix in the United States later this month, which means you can relive the incredible documentary series and light up a cigar with Michael Jordan after you watch the Chicago Bulls win their sixth championship title all over again. Read More »
The Boston Renegades were born to play. The women’s tackle football team is the subject of the latest ESPN documentary, Born to Play, which follows the athletes throughout their 2018 season as they tried to capture the WFA national championship. Watch the Born to Play trailer below.
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Following the massive success of the Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls documentary series The Last Dance, ESPN is trying to keep the hype alive by releasing new 30 for 30 sports documentaries on Sundays. One of them will be Long Gone Summer, which chronicles the famous home run battle in the summer of 1998 between St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire and Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa. The first Long Gone Summer trailer has arrived to tease the film’s arrival next week. Read More »
In the wake of the fantastic Michael Jordan-centric documentary series The Last Dance, which broke viewership records for ESPN, the sports network is hoping that its slate of 30 for 30 documentaries is able to keep audiences’ attention. They’re currently airing Lance, a multi-part look at the life and controversy of cyclist Lance Armstrong, but coming up next month, they’ll tackle a subject that seems likely to attract the attention of folks outside of sports fandom: martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Check out the trailer for Be Water below. Read More »
Faced with an ongoing lack of sports, ESPN has still found ratings success with The Last Dance, a 10-part series chronicling the final championship run of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Since sports aren’t slated to return anytime soon, ESPN is bumping up a few more documentaries from their ongoing 30 for 30 series that were originally scheduled to premiere later this year.
After The Last Dance comes to an end in the middle of May, the following Sundays will see new documentary premieres focusing on scandalous cyclist Lance Armstrong, martial arts legend Bruce Lee, and the famous home run battle between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. Get details on the new ESPN documentaries coming in May and June below. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2020 by Jacob Hall
(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: 30 for 30
Where You Can Stream It: ESPN+
The Pitch: It seems like everyone is watching The Last Dance, ESPN’s incredible 10-part documentary series about the final year of the Chicago Bulls dream team. But with only two episodes being released each weekend, you can fill the time between Sunday evenings by exploring the network’s 30 for 30 series, a library of some of the best sports documentaries ever made.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the sports industry, which means no packed arenas and no games to watch. For some folks, this is devastating. For people like me, who casually follow a handful of teams, I’m doing just fine. However, these two groups can meet in the middle with 30 for 30, the ESPN documentary film series chronicling some of the biggest, strangest, and most important moments in sports history. The best of these aren’t just exciting and/or horrifying and/or devastating and/or triumphant chronicles of players and teams – they’re extraordinary documentary films that showcase unique voices and tones in addition to simply being informative.
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For Emmy Award-winning director Jason Hehir (Andre the Giant, 30 for 30), completing the ten-part documentary series The Last Dance has been a Herculean task – and he’s still not finished. He likely won’t be totally done with the project until hours before the final episodes air. Talk about pressure.
But like Michael Jordan, the primary subject of the documentary, Hehir seems to thrive when the game is on the line. His series, which chronicles Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during the 1997-1998 season as they try to win their sixth NBA championship, was scheduled for a summer release before being moved up to fill the world’s sports-sized hole during the coronavirus pandemic. The show has already broken viewership records for ESPN, generated a mountain of memes, and seems to be one of the few pieces of pop culture that the country is consuming at the same time in an era when that kind of water cooler entertainment is increasingly rare.
I spoke with Hehir by phone earlier this week, after the premiere of the third and fourth episodes, and Hehir told me about how he decided to shape the show’s timeline, his top three Michael Jordan moments, how he and his team had a staggering 10,000 hours of footage to whittle down, and much more.
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