ESPN Doubles Up on ’30 for 30’ Documentary Series
ESPN’s faith in sports documentaries is so deep that on Tuesday it will announce a second go-round for its “30 for 30” series, which made its debut in the fall of 2009.
There are new dimensions to the series, which will return this fall and span two years. The documentaries are being integrated with Grantland.com, the ESPN sports-culture journalism Web site whose editor in chief is Bill Simmons, the popular ESPN columnist and podcaster.
As the films roll out, they will be augmented on Grantland by podcasts, feature stories and oral histories. A short digital film — which will be unrelated to the longer ones — will make its debut each month on Grantland.
The first digital short, by Eric Drath, which will be posted Tuesday on Grantland, is an interview with Pete Rose.
The new full-length documentaries will include films about the North Carolina State basketball team that won the N.C.A.A. men’s championship in 1983; the 100-meter final at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul whose winner, Ben Johnson, tested positive for steroids; Bo Jackson, the athletic marvel who played baseball and football and starred in the “Bo Knows” series of Nike ads.
Two films that made their debut at the Tribeca Film Festival are also on the roster: “Benji,” about a high school basketball star in Chicago who was murdered in 1984, and “Broke,” about athletes who lose their fortunes.