After the success of ESPN's new 30 for 30 films in the fall, two more are planned for the spring. One will focus on Jim Valvano and the 30th aniversary of his 1983 NC State national champions. The other will highlight the 30 year anniversary of the 1983 NFL Draft, which saw 6 quarterbacks taken in the first round and would shape the league for years to come.
Survive and Advance, which will air on March 17th at 9 PM on ESPN tells the story of the NC State Wolfpack team that came into the ACC Tournament needing to win the automatic berth to make the NCAA Tournament. Of course, Valvano's Wolfpack won both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments, beating Houston in the National Title game in dramatic fashion, cementing one of the most famous underdog stories in sports. The film will be directed by Jonathan Hook and told through the eyes of NC State captain Dereck Whittenburg.
Elway to Marino, which will air on April 23rd at 9 PM on ESPN, tells the story of the 1983 NFL Draft, which ended up being one of the most significant in the history of the league. The film will be told through the eyes of the notable players drafted, including John Elway and Dan Marino, the executives, and agents involved in the draft.
Both films seem like a slam dunk for ESPN and perfect fits for the 30 for 30 series. Both will be airing at relevant times (much like the Bo Jackson film premiering after the Heisman ceremony in December) with Survive and Advance airing on Selection Sunday and Elway to Marino airing during the week of the NFL Draft. It's an ingenious programming tie-in from ESPN, and something that should definitely result in more eyeballs.