Samuel L. Jackson to Host The 2009 ESPYs
ESPN's 17th Anniversary Telecast to Honor Best in Sports and Entertainment Sunday, July 19 at 9 p.m. ET
The 17th annual ESPYs will be hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, who will be joined by an all-star lineup of top athletes and entertainers to celebrate the best sports stories of the year. Representing his fourth ESPY hosting experience, Jackson will lead fans through the year's best plays, biggest upsets and most outstanding performances. The 2009 ESPYs co-presented by Under Armour and Land Rover will be taped Wednesday, July 15 from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles and televised Sunday, July 19 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN HD. Additional unique content will be available on a variety of ESPN multimedia platforms including ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile, ESPN Deportes and ESPN International.
"It's a pleasure to bring back Samuel L. Jackson as host. Not only is he one of the most talented actors, his passion and enthusiasm for sports make him a great host for the ESPYs," said Maura Mandt, ESPN executive producer for The 2009 ESPYs. "Sam has already created some of the funniest moments in the ESPYs with his skits like �The comeback', and we can't wait for him to do more."
Jackson is one of Hollywood's most popular actors, with acclaimed performances in numerous films, including Jungle Fever (1991), A Time to Kill (1996), Jackie Brown (1997), Shaft (2002) and Coach Carter (2005). Best known for his Academy Award-nominated performance in Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackson is no stranger to The ESPYs, having hosted the show in 1999, 2001 and 2002 and was a two-time presenter of the show's Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
"I am very excited to host The 2009 ESPYs and celebrate some of the most remarkable athletes from all over the world," said Jackson. "It's no secret that I have had a lifelong love of sports and the ESPYs give me and the fans a chance to see our favorite athletes come together to celebrate their fantastic achievements over the past year. It's always a special night."
To view Jackson's most memorable comedy skits in EPSYs history video clips go to Comeback; Minors and Golf Challenge.
Jackson just completed filming the drama Unthinkable directed by Gregor Jordan and produced by Cotty Chubb, co-starring Michael Sheen. He also filmed a supporting role in the drama Mother and Child directed by Rodrigo Garcia. Jackson will begin filming Rape: A Love Story with Maria Bello sometime this year; based on the 2003 novel by Joyce Carol Oates.
The ESPYs gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2009 ESPYs will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as "Best MLB Player" and "Best WNBA Player," and best-in-sport winners, such as "Best Team" or "Best Female Athlete" that pit nominees from different sports against each other. The ESPYs honor ESPN's commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993.
Fans will determine the winners in all categories (except the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and other special awards) by voting online at www.espys.tv starting June 25 through July 11.
* For the second time in several years, a limited amount of ESPYs tickets are available for public purchase starting April 20 through www.ticketmaster.com.