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"30 For 30" ESPN Film Series Returning; Docs On Ben Johnson, Bo Jackson, Broke Athletes In Lineup

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 15, 2012 5:54 PM
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ESPN Films announced today the return of the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning 30 for 30 film series.

As with the first series, which included collaborations with filmmakers like Peter Berg, Barry Levinson, Ice Cube and Academy Award-winner Barbara Koppel, ESPN Films will once again partner with a wide array of filmmakers to "tell incredible stories that capture the core of how sports inspire and entertain."

In addition to a second slate of 30 feature-length documentaries, ESPN Films will broaden its scope to support a whole new crop of stories with the creation of 30 for 30 Shorts - a 30-part digital short film series.

Beginning in September, a new short film will debut monthly on Bill Simmons’

30 for 30 Vol. II (the feature films) is scheduled to premiere in October.

The new full-length documentaries will include films about the North Carolina State basketball team that won the N.C.A.A. men’s championship in 1983; the 100-meter final at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul whose winner, Ben Johnson, tested positive for steroids; Bo Jackson, the athletic marvel who played baseball and football and starred in the Bo Knows series of Nike ads; two films that made their debut at the Tribeca Film Festival (and that we covered) - Benji, about a high school basketball star in Chicago who was murdered in 1984, and Broke, about athletes who lose their fortunes (photo above).

30 for 30 reportedly attracted an average of 1.2 million viewers for the first season of documentaries.

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  • brett | September 7, 2012 1:58 AMReply

    I can't wait for the new season of 30 For 30...the last season was great, especially the ones about Todd Marinovich and Chuck Wepner. I'm especially psyched to see the upcoming Bo Jackson, Ben Wilson and Jim Valvano/NC State.

    The trailer really has me psyched - love the use of "Midnight City" by M83, that song really gets the blood flowing....we're only a couple weeks away from the first one

  • Nadine | May 16, 2012 9:46 AMReply

    "30 for 30" has got to be one of the best shows on television, period (doc or otherwise), with REAL SPORTS being one of the few to trump it. Deserves every accolade. I was literally leaping up and down reliving the Pacers vs the Knicks... SOOOO well-done... Sports entertainment has a way of really tapping into our humanity the way network dramas cannot. Beautiful. Looking forward to more. I'm flipping out over NC State, Ben Johnson (the horror) and Bo Jackson.

  • CareyCarey | May 16, 2012 10:52 AM

    Nadine, I love you more every day b/c you cease to amaze me. Listen, I admire women with your writing skills and critical thinking pattern, but it's rare to see women -- especially on this board -- who has such diverse interests as yours. Having said that, sports, as with music, has a way of uniting people across many races and cultures. In short, it's a team effort which does not require the team to "win" in order to receive lasting and profound rewards. I LOVE LOVE LOVE "30 for 30". I've watched every episode. And since we're frequently discussing "race matters", sports television in the USA has undoubtedly opened the door to the black voice more than any other media that I have the priviledge to see. News programs -- forget about it, there's only a few black faces with any clout! Network sit-coms and dramas -- forget about it! Sports programing... BRING IT! Smart, intelligent, attractive, non-pretentious black folks, women and men, standing behind the mics -- in the studios -- courtside -- on the sidelines -- in the directors chair, in the writer's chair and the producer's chair. We even own several huge sports franchises. I better stop before I start writing about which "30 for 30" I enjoyed the most -- and there are several.

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