Fans of quality sports documentaries can mark their calendars for Tuesday, October 2, when ESPN’s “30 for 30” franchise returns.
Originally designed as a series of 30 documentaries tied to ESPN’s 30th anniversary, the “30 for 30” brand was resurrected this spring and will be back for what the network is calling “Vol. II.”
Up first for the new run of “30 for 30” docs is “Broke,” from Billy Corben, who chronicled the University of Miami football program in “The U” for the first cycle. In “Broke,” Corben focuses on once-wealthy sports stars who have found themselves in bankruptcy.
The following week, on October 9, Daniel Gordon examines Ben Johnson’s record-breaking 1988 Olympic 100-meter run, which ended in drug-tainted disgrace in “9.79*.” That documentary will also play at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall.
On October 16, Maura Mandt and Josh Swade’s “There’s No Place Like Home” follows a passionate fan’s attempt to acquire James Naismith’s original basketball rules, while Coodie and Chike look at the tragic story of Chicago high school hoops star Ben Wilson in “Benji” on October 23.
The run of five October docs will conclude with Fritz Mitchell exploring the 1962 University of Mississippi football team, against the backdrop of integration, in “Ghosts of Ole Miss.”
ESPN has then set Michael Bonfiglio’s “You Don’t Know Bo” for an appropriate post-Heisman Trophy ceremony premiere on Saturday, December 8.
“When we launched ESPN Films” ’30 for 30′ series in 2009, it quickly became synonymous with long-form, quality sports storytelling and gave us the opportunity to showcase compelling stories through the eyes of incredibly talented filmmakers,” states Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films. “Our intention with the upcoming slate of films is to feature stories that reflect the powerful impact that sports can make across the cultural landscape and get to the core of why sports matter. We will continue to tell these stories in innovative ways.”
For those of you who like lists, the fall slate will air as follows:
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m. – “Broke” (Billy Corben)
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 8 p.m. – “9.79*” (Daniel Gordon)
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8 pm. – “There”s No Place Like Home” (Maura Mandt and Josh Swade)
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m. – “Benji” (Coodie and Chike)
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m. – “Ghosts of Ole Miss” (Fritz Mitchell)
Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 p.m. – “You Don”t Know Bo” (Michael Bonfiglio)