ESPN AND TOLLIN/ROBBINS PRODUCTIONS TO CHRONICLE BARRY BONDS� HISTORIC SEASON EOE SERIES TO TAKE AN INSIDE LOOK AT PURSUIT OF HOME RUN MILESTONES
ESPN Original Entertainment will collaborate with Tollin/Robbins Productions, one of today�s hottest feature film, television and documentary production companies, for a weekly half-hour series chronicling the historic 2006 season of Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giants slugger, and his extraordinary pursuit to reach the milestones set by Babe Ruth (most home runs by a left-handed hitter) and Hank Aaron, the all-time home run leader. Tollin/Robbins Productions will follow the seven-time MVP as he closes in on the most hallowed records in all of sports. Currently, Bonds has 708 home runs, just six behind Babe Ruth�s 714 and 47 behind Aaron�s 755. The series, �Bonds on Bonds,� will also provide a glimpse into the personal life of one of the sports world�s most accomplished and complex figures.
�It was over ten years ago when Mike Tollin interviewed me for the Hank Aaron documentary,� said Bonds, �and I said at the time that no one will ever get close to 755. At the age of 42 to finally have a chance to catch legends like Babe and Hank is really a mind-blowing honor. This is a project that we�re both passionate about and feel we have the opportunity to capture a unique behind-the-scenes experience that fans will be able to enjoy each week.�
The television documentary series will debut with a one-hour special Tuesday, April 4 at 8 p.m. ET. on ESPN2 and then will be aired weekly on ESPN Tuesdays at 7 p.m. beginning April 11. The network also plans to make content available across its multiple platforms.
�This project epitomizes the kind of original, compelling programming our viewers have come to expect from ESPN Original Entertainment,� said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. �There�s no better way to capture all the drama and emotion leading to this landmark event in sports history than going behind the scenes daily with this player, one of the more scrutinized athletes of our time.�
Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment, said, �We are thrilled to be working alongside the creative minds of Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. They share a passion and enthusiasm for sports and storytelling, and we�re excited to bring this historic moment to life for our viewers in such a dramatic way.�
Mike Tollin, said, �We�ve known Barry for over ten years now and this seems like the perfect time to reveal the many sides of his life that the world never sees.� Added Brian Robbins, �He�s never been more eager for a season to start or more comfortable with himself.�
The name �Bonds� is synonymous with baseball greatness, with Barry following in the footsteps of his father Bobby and godfather, Willie Mays. Living legend and single-season home run leader, Barry Bonds, is the power hitter for the San Francisco Giants, with # 25 adorning his jersey. A dominant force in the game, Bonds is embarking on his 21st season playing Major League baseball. In that time, he has crafted one of the finest careers the game has ever seen, a collection of feats that has permanently etched the name Barry Bonds in baseball history. From sports icon to commercial spokesperson along with his philanthropic missions, Bonds proves to be one of the most recognizable sports figures in the country. It is his longevity as a superstar and all-around greatness that will navigate his course to the Hall of Fame.
No strangers to film and television production in the world of sports, Tollin/Robbins Productions produced �Arli$$� for HBO, as well as feature films �Coach Carter,� �Varsity Blues,� �Hardball,� �Summer Catch,� �Radio� and documentaries �Hardwood Dreams� and �Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream� which won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. The company also produced �Dreamer,� �Big Fat Liar,� �The Perfect Score� and �Ready to Rumble� and has numerous other high-profile film projects in development. Tollin/Robbins Productions also touts an impressive slate of television programming with four series currently on prime-time television including: �Smallville,� �One Tree Hill,� �What I Like About You,� and �Crumbs.�
ESPN ORIGINAL ENTERTAINMENT
Launched in 2001, ESPN Original Entertainment is ESPN�s award-winning original programming banner. The EOE brand spans ESPN's sports-themed original movies, scripted and unscripted dramatic series, daily talk and debate series, documentaries, game shows and groundbreaking televised events such as the X Games and The ESPY Awards, and is delivered across multiple media platforms. With theatrical releases such as Through the Fire about basketball phenom Sebastian Telfair and Once in a Lifetime about the 1970�s New York Cosmos, EOE continues to plant itself firmly on the cutting edge of sports and entertainment television and event creation. Also, EOE's daily lifestyle and entertainment-themed series Cold Pizza and Quite Frankly are cornerstones of ESPN2�s programming lineup. With many new scripted and unscripted projects in development, EOE serves both the passionate sports fan and the more casual viewer, and strives to expand ESPN's already industry-leading offerings in live events and sports news & information programming.