A new ESPN Films documentary on long-time ESPN analyst Dick Vitale will premiere later this month. ESPN announced Wednesday that Dickie V will premiere on ESPN+ on Wednesday, July 20 (the same date Vitale will receive the Jimmy V Award For Perseverance at the ESPYs), with its first linear airing coming on ESPN at 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, July 23. This will be an 80-minute documentary directed by Nick Nanton (a long-time director and producer, whose sports work includes directing 2017’s Rudy Ruettiger: The Walk On), and it will cover everything from Vitale’s coaching career to his 1979 start at ESPN to his decades with the network to his work fundraising for research into childhood cancers to his recent health battles. Here’s a trailer for it:
Here’s more on the film from ESPN’s release:
“Everyone knows the Dick Vitale that shows up with an energetic smile and enthusiastic conversation, but there is so much more to his character beyond his ‘Vitale-isms’,” said Nanton, who produced the film under his Astonish Entertainment label in association with The Montag Group. “In the process of making this film, I realized that his tenacity and heartfelt personality came from a place of deep hurt and a desire to help anyone who had felt the depths of loss he had felt. From childhood bullying by his peers due to the loss of his left eye, to a meteoric rise in coaching, only to be unceremoniously ousted from his dream job as head coach of the Detroit Pistons, to a ‘second career’ in broadcasting that turned out to be his true calling, Vitale’s journey of resilience is one that I know will resonate universally. His is a story of loss, triumph, giving and humanity. It’s one I simply had to tell.”
The film features more than 40 original interviews Magic Johnson, Mike Krzyzewski, Charles Barkley, John Calipari, Robin Roberts, Chris Berman, Mike Tirico, among other leading voices from college basketball, sports broadcasting, and beyond, “Dickie V” is a fun, unforgettable, moving, inspirational ride through an incredible life still being lived, and a poignant tribute to a man still spreading love and joy wherever he goes.
Vitale has had a remarkable career, especially with his 43-year run at ESPN. There’s a solid lineup of interviewees here, and this should be a good watch for those interested in Vitale, college basketball, and/or ESPN history.