ESPN will continue its Sunday night programming to fill the void left by the absence of live sports by airing three films in its documentary series “30 for 30” after the conclusion of the Chicago Bulls docu-series “The Last Dance,” including stories on Lance Armstrong, Bruce Lee and the steroid scandal that surrounded Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
The films “Lance,” “Be Water” and “Long Gone Summer” will air on ESPN on Sunday nights after “The Last Dance” ends and will be available on ESPN+ immediately after their premieres. Both “Lance” and “Be Water” made their premieres at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
First up is “Lance” on Sunday, May 24, a two-part film directed by Marina Zenovich (“Robin Williams: Come Inside my Mind) that grants new access to the disgraced cycling champion, and the second part of the film will air the following Sunday on May 31.
On June 7 is “Be Water” from director Bao Nguyen, which tells the life story of Bruce Lee, the martial artist, actor, trailblazer and pop culture icon through his time as a child actor to his sudden death while still a young family man and a burgeoning superstar.
Finally, on June 14 is AJ Schnack’s “Long Gone Summer,” which was an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and chronicles Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s storied 1998 home run chase following the 1994 MLB strike. For the first time, both men discuss that summer at length, including its lasting legacy and undeniable complications.
“It’s a great feeling to bring three more epic documentary projects to sports fans who so need it right now. Moving up these films is no easy task, but it’s absolutely worth the effort to get them on the air for audiences to experience together. It’s a mix of fascinating topics, compelling characters and some of the absolute best storytelling our team has cranked out. The whole ESPN Films team is working hard to entertain fans while we wait for live sports to return and give them a distraction while we go through these hard times,” Libby Geist, vice president and executive producer, ESPN Films and Original Content, said in a statement.
“The Last Dance” has been a ratings boon for ESPN, netting a record 5.3 million viewers for its premiere last month.