The sports network released the documentary in April instead of in June to coincide with the NBA playoffs because of the coronavirus. That move got them thinking about everyone’s favorite sports documentary franchise 30 for 30.
So, they’ll be bumping up the release dates on docs on Lance Armstrong, Bruce Lee, and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa—and will air them right after the MJ limited-series and keep up with Sunday night theme.
First up behind on May 24, is LANCE, a two-part documentary on the disgraced cyclist from director Marina Zenovich. The two-part doc is going to be similar to The Last Dance as its composed of conversational interviews with subjects close to the matter. Armstrong was regarded as a sports icon after winning the Tour de France seven times from 1999-2005 but fell from grace after a 2012 United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation found him guilty of doping. He was even named the ringleader of “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
On June 7, Be Water lands on the sports network. Directed by Bao Nguyen, Bruce Lee’s legendary story will be told through interviews with his family and friends. Lastly is Long Gone Summer, from director AJ Schnack. Airing on June 14, it documents the infamous 1998 race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to break Roger Maris’ 40-year MLB record for home runs in a single season.
Let’s remember to thank the Jordan doc, which got ESPN to rev up the amount of original content its delivering.
“We’ve seen the ESPN engine really get behind The Last Dance and this storyline in every way,” Libby Geist, the vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films and Original Content, recently told Vanity Fair. “The reception that The Last Dance has received definitely inspired us to really push these three films because they’re really high-profile topics, they’re great filmmakers, and we’re really proud of the films themselves. So, they are not Michael; no one’s Michael. But I think we have high hopes for some of the non-sports fans being attracted to these topics and these stories because of the quality, but also because it’s a time when people are looking for high-quality content that, for us, happened to be about sports.”