[09/20/04 - 12:00 AM]
ESPN Classic and '60 Minutes' Team Up for New Series -- '60 Minutes on Classic'

[via press release from CBS]


ESPN Classic announced today an agreement to team with CBS News Productions and 60 Minutes to produce a new weekly series, 60 MINUTES ON CLASSIC. Each half-hour show will look back at two thematically-linked classic 60 Minutes segments that focused on leading sports figures.

60 MINUTES ON CLASSIC will be hosted by veteran 60 Minutes Correspondent Steve Kroft and is initially scheduled for two 13-episode seasons. It will debut in late October with a program celebrating the 30th anniversary of the "Rumble In The Jungle" -- the historic fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place October 30, 1974 in Zaire. Each week, a new episode will debut on Tuesday nights at 8:00 PM, ET and will be repeated at 8:30, 11:00, and 11:30 PM, ET.

"Fans look to ESPN Classic as the curators of sports history," said Mark Shapiro, executive vice president, programming and production, ESPN. "They expect us to deliver the personalities, stories and context that have shaped, and continue to shape, sports history. Adding the storytelling of these magnificent 60 Minutes segments to ESPN Classic's own lineup is an extraordinary way to enhance fan's understanding of the sports world."

Added Jeffrey Fager, executive producer, 60 Minutes, "The 60 Minutes vault is filled with sports treasures, and ESPN Classic is a natural home for these timeless stories. The series will give viewers a chance to get an up-close look at some of the most dynamic characters in sports, as captured the way only 60 Minutes can, with unforgettable moments and great interviews."

The initial program will include a 1996 segment from 60 Minutes featuring Muhammad Ali and a 1995 segment featuring George Foreman. Other subjects featured in future episodes will include Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs (1973), George Steinbrenner (1987), Lance Armstrong (2000), Michael Jordan (1987), Joe Paterno (1978), Dwight Gooden (1985) and more.

Now entering its 37th season, 60 MINUTES was the number-one program a record five times and is the most popular program in television history. Celebrity profiles from 60 MINUTES' nearly 4,000 original segments currently appear on "TV Land Legends: The 60 MINUTES Interviews," a series hosted by Ed Bradley and also produced by CBS News Productions.

CBS News Productions is the production company of CBS News that creates a diverse mix of non-fiction and reality programming for domestic and international markets, including network and cable television, home video, CD-ROM, audio books and in-flight, as well as schools and libraries. Margery Baker-Riker is Vice President of CBS News Productions.

  [september 2004]  


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