ESPN Films have announced several new projects and their 30 for 30 documentary lineup that will debut over the next few months. Fans will be able to enjoy the interesting and incredible stories behind athletes, athletic clubs, and more.
- A new lineup of 30 for 30 documentaries will being airing on ESPN in this fall including stories about:
- Junior Seau
- The Mike Tyson/Buster Douglas fight
- Deion Sanders
- The Last Days of Knight will also make its television debut after premiering on ESPN+ in April.
- Additionally, a new 30 for 30 Short, Sonic Break will air in September.
- The 30 for 30 Podcasts will return for its fourth season in October.
30 for 30 documentaries:
- Directed by Kirby Bradley, this film recaptures the glory days of NFL great Junior Seau while foreshadowing a tragedy that would rock the league.
- The film will debut exclusively on Thursday, September 20, on ESPN+.
- “Seau was a legend long before he retired from the NFL — surrounded by a passionate fan base, deep respect from his peers and a loving family, he experienced a unique sense of purpose that extended beyond the playing field. Despite appearing to have everything, his decision to end his own life at 43 remains both deeply disturbing and largely unexplained. This revealing account of the Hall of Famer’s life and death seeks answers, exploring the remarkable path from an immigrant Samoan family to NFL stardom, and the many obstacles faced throughout two decades spent as an American football icon at the heart of a brutal and unforgiving game.”
- The Last Days of Knight
- Directed by Robert Abbott, will make its television debut on ESPN, on Thursday, November 29, after first premiering on ESPN+ in April with the launch of the service.
- The Last Days of Knight details the previously untold, behind-the-scenes story of CNN’s investigation into why high school All-Americans were leaving the Indiana University men’s basketball program under Coach Bob Knight, and the fallout that ensued after the story broke.
- 42 to 1
- The film, co-directed by Ben Houser and Jeremy Schaap, chronicles one of the most famous upsets in sports history: Buster Douglas’ shocking knockout of the then-undefeated Mike Tyson.
- 42 to 1 will debut on Tuesday, December 11, at 9 pm ET on ESPN.
- “Tyson was the most feared fighter of modern times. Douglas, meanwhile, was dismissed as a 42 to 1 underdog. No one thought he had the heart required of a champion. But at the Tokyo Dome on February 11, 1990, Douglas came to fight. Defying opinion, he proved to everyone that there was greatness in him. This is a film about how Douglas pulled off a victory that changed the course of sports history, channeling the absolute best version of himself, if only for one fight, when it mattered most and no one thought it was possible.”
- 30 for 30 documentary: Deion Sanders
- Premiering on Thursday, January 31, at 9 pm ET on ESPN, this film takes a close look at an unbelievably eventful few days in the life of Deion Sanders, the two-sport athlete and NFL Hall of Famer whose love of the spotlight spawned the self-given nickname “Prime Time.”
- No event encapsulates Deion’s limitless abilities and unparalleled conviction like the 24 hours in October of 1992, when Sanders sandwiched a pro football game between a pair of postseason baseball games in two different cities, located one-thousand miles apart.
- The yet-to be-titled film is directed by Ken Rodgers (The Two Bills, Four Falls of Buffalo) and produced by NFL Films.
30 for 30 Shorts series:
- Sonic Break
- Directed by Stevan Riley (Listen to Me Marlon), chronicles the unexpected fear and anxiety that Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner battled before attempting the impossible: jumping from a space capsule borne by a helium balloon into the frigid stratosphere 23 miles above the earth, and then traveling at a speed of 690 mph before parachuting safely to the ground.
- The latest Short in the 30 for 30 series will premiere on Sunday, September 23, at 3 pm ET on ESPN.
- “Sonic Break will be available for streaming on ESPN+ beginning October 14.
30 for 30 Podcasts:
- Additionally, 30 for 30 Podcasts will return for its fourth season on Tuesday, October 16, with a new series of original audio documentaries.
- This fall’s lineup will include stories on the making of Jose Canseco’s controversial book, Juiced, Hideo Nomo and the arrival of Japanese baseball stars to the major leagues, the TV broadcast of the 2003 World Series of Poker, and a protest at the 1972 New York City Marathon.
What they’re saying:
- Connor Schell, ESPN executive vice president, content: “30 for 30 remains one of ESPN’s most vital and interesting content brands. I am thrilled for its return this fall with so many compelling stories across ESPN’s many platforms.”
- Libby Geist, ESPN Films vice president and executive producer: “ESPN Films is full steam ahead on developing and producing high-quality sports stories – long and short and on all platforms. We are looking ahead to a busy few years with big projects, including feature-length documentaries, shorts, and podcasts. It’s important to us that we keep pushing ourselves and create the best possible experience by letting our projects match the format that best serves the story.”