Tales from ESPN's 'E:60' start Oct. 16


BRISTOL, Conn. -- A little more than six weeks before its debut, ESPN's new investigative newsmagazine series has a name.

"E:60" will premiere at 7 p.m. EDTcq Oct. 16 after "SportsCenter" and air weekly the next four Tuesdays before returning in April and June. The show will have 15 one-hour editions this TV season, with the possibility of more at some point.

Formerly known as "ESPN Reports," the program is being marketed as a cross between HBO's "Real Sports" and CBS' "60 Minutes," with a youthful, fast pace. It is ESPN's first foray into newsmagazines; its other longform journalistic program, "Outside the Lines," will continue as well.

"We want to get at the heart of what we do here, storytelling," said former ABC News veteran Bob Wallace, who is in charge of production. Tapped as reporters for "E:60" will be Jeremy Schaap, Lisa Salters, Tom Farrey, Rachel Nichols and Michael Smith.

There won't be an anchor per se in the way that Bryant Gumbel is for "Real Sports." The correspondents will introduce their pieces, and the beginnings and endings of the show will be in black and white, drawn from the story conferences the reporters and executives have behind the scenes.

"They'll explode with the color of the pieces," Wallace said. "It will be, hopefully, a very powerful experience."

One piece by Farrey involves one of the former "Lost Boys" of Sudan who at age 6 fled his native country and walked 1,000 miles across Africa and eventually landed in Philadelphia, where he became a runner. The man is trying to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team and, with Farrey, returned to Sudan and saw his mother for the first time in 14 years.

The piece, along with others, will appear on "E:60" and well as in ESPN: The Magazine.