ESPN Films and Netflix will debut their long-form documentary about basketball great Michael Jordan, The Last Dance, on April 19, earlier than anticipated after the loss of live sports has left audiences craving new sports-themed content.
The 10-part doc series, to run through to May 17 on ESPN, was originally set for early summer. It will also be available outside of the U.S. on Netflix from April 20.
The move was prompted in part by the loss of live pro sports, leaving ESPN and other sports channels with schedules to fill. “As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience. We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that,” ESPN said in a statement.
The National Basketball Association on March 11 suspended its season until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.
ESPN Films and Netflix teamed for the long-form film about Jordan, with the basketball icon’s full participation. The Last Dance will follow Jordan’s stunning rise during the 1990s, the success of the Chicago Bulls and the simultaneous increase in popularity for the NBA.
Directed by Jason Hehir and produced by Mike Tollin, the series will offer over 500 previously unseen hours of footage from the Bulls’ last championship run in 1997-98, with Jordan, other Bulls figures and dozens of sports luminaries signed on for commentary.
The Last Dance is produced by Mandalay Sports Media in association with NBA Entertainment and Jump23.