ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is set for another 30-volume flight, and the first five documentaries in this new batch will be airing Tuesdays in primetime during October and November. Starting October 13, there will be a new 30 for 30 airing Tuesday nights for five straight weeks. There are some high-profile ones in this group, ranging from two big college football stories to an NBA relocation fight to literal boxing fights and a long, controversial and tragic wrestling relationship.
This volume of the series will start Oct. 13 with Trojan War, a look at the highs and lows of Pete Carroll’s nine years at USC, then move to northern California Oct. 20 for Down In The Valley, an examination of the fight to keep the NBA’s Kings in Sacramento. Oct. 27’s The Prince Of Pennsylvania is a look at the bizarre relationship between millionaire John du Pont and the wrestlers he worked with, which was recently examined in the Oscar-nominated film Foxcatcher. Nov. 3’s The Gospel According to Mac returns to the college football world with an examination of former Colorado coach Bill McCartney, and Nov. 10’s Chasing Tyson looks at Evander Holyfield, the buildup to his fights with Mike Tyson and the consequences of those. All of these will air at 9 p.m. Eastern except “Chasing Tyson,” which will air at 8 p.m. Eastern.
ESPN has also announced the next 30 for 30 short, “First Pitch,” which will premiere on SportsCenter and on Grantland on Sept. 11. Here’s their blurb on that:
With the anniversary of 9/11 approaching, the next installment in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series will look at President George W. Bush’s ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium to kick off Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just seven weeks after the September 11 attacks. The 23-minute film, directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Angus Wall and executive produced by Jim Gray, relives that anxious October night and the days leading up to it with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from President Bush, Derek Jeter, Condoleezza Rice, Joe Torre, Rudy Giuliani, Billy Crystal, George Tenet, Bush family members, Cabinet officers and Secret Service agents. “First Pitch” will premiere on Friday, Sept. 11, on SportsCenter immediately after the national moment of silence, as well as on Grantland.com and ESPN.com. It will also air that evening at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
It will be interesting to see how this next batch of 30 for 30 films stacks up against the previous ones. They certainly have some promising subjects here; will those lead to compelling documentaries, and will they find an audience? We’ll find out.
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