ESPN Sports Documentaries: Beyond 30

The success of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series of sports documentaries, and the one that followed it, “Fab Five” has led to a new series of sports documentaries continuing this fall.

At a press conference last week at the TV Critics’ summer press tour, officials from Bristol told of the initial roster, with “Catching Hell,” a film about Steve Bartman, the fan who reached out and broke up a play at a Cubs playoff game, enraging other fans. Alex Gibney’s film asks whether it is the city that should apologize to him now.

Other films due this fall include:

  • “Renee,” about tennis player Renee Richard trying to enter the 1977 U.S. Open, by Eric Drath, premiering on Oct. 4.
  • “The Dotted Line,” about the role of sports agents, by Morgan Spurlock, Oct. 11.
  • “Unguarded,” about the rise and fall of basketball star Chris Herren of Fall River, Mass., to BU, Fresno State and briefly the Celtics before he descended into drug addiction, by Jonathan Hock, Oct. 18.
  • “The Real Rocky,” about heavyweight boxer and inspiration to “Rocky” Chuck Wepner, by Jeff Feuerzeig, Oct. 25.
  • “Charismatic,” about the near-Triple Crown winning horse in 1999, by Steve Michaels, Nov. 1.
  • “Roll Tide/War Eagle” about the college football rivalry of Auburn and Alabama by Martin Khodabakhshian, Nov. 8.

In extending the line of the network documentaries, Keith Clinkscales, the senior vice president of content development and ESPN
Enterprises, who was also executive producer, says, “We wanted to show to the fans and the people that enjoyed these films is that this not something we’re doing temporarily; this is something that we’re committed to do.”

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