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[08/27/09 - 06:41 AM]
Fall 2009 Slate and Schedule Announced for ESPN Films' "30 for 30"
Beginning October 6, the films will be aired on Tuesdays at 8:00/7:00c through November 10, with a special post-Heisman slot reserved for Saturday, December 12.

[via press release from ESPN]

Fall 2009 Slate and Schedule Announced for ESPN Films' "30 for 30" **

ESPN Films has released the final slate and viewing schedule for the first seven "30 for 30" films to be televised this fall on ESPN. Beginning October 6, the films will be aired on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET through November 10, with a special post-Heisman slot reserved for Saturday, Dec. 12. This marks the official beginning of ESPN's ambitious "30 for 30" film project, a unique undertaking by ESPN Films to celebrate ESPN's 30th anniversary by engaging well-known filmmakers to create documentaries centered on the last 30 years in sports.

Some of Hollywood's finest directors and producers such as Peter Berg, Barry Levinson, John Singleton, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze and Frank Marshall are among those participating in the "30 for 30" films project, exploring topics ranging from the end of the USFL to the title fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes to the story of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band which continued to march even though the team had moved to Indianapolis. Peter Berg's film exploring the effects of the shocking trade of Wayne Gretzky from Edmonton to Los Angeles in 1988 will kick off the series Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The finalized titles and air dates of the first seven films:

� Tuesday, Oct. 6, 8 p.m. � **Kings Ransom (Peter Berg)

� Tuesday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m. � **The Band That Wouldn't Die (Barry Levinson)

� Tuesday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m. � Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? (Mike Tollin)

� Tuesday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m. � Muhammad and Larry (Albert Maysles)

� Tuesday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m. � Without Bias (Kirk Fraser)

� Tuesday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m. � The Legend of Jimmy The Greek (Fritz Mitchell)

� Saturday, Dec. 12, 9 p.m. � The U (Billy Corben)

**Kings Ransom and The Band That Wouldn't Die have both been named official selections of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival's Mavericks programme.

The Films

Kings Ransom (Peter Berg)

On August 9, 1988, the NHL was forever changed with the single stroke of a pen. The Edmonton Oilers, fresh off their third Stanley Cup victory in four years, signed a deal exporting Wayne Gretzky, Canadian national treasure and the greatest hockey player ever, to the Los Angeles Kings. Acclaimed director Peter Berg presents the captivating story of the trade that knocked the wind out of an entire country and placed a star-studded city right at the humble feet of "The Great One."

The Band That Wouldn't Die (Barry Levinson)

In late March of 1984, a moving company secretly packed up the Baltimore Colts' belongings and its fleet of vans snuck off in the darkness of the early morning. A city of deeply devoted fans was left in shock and disbelief. What caused owner Robert Irsay to turn his back on a town that was as closely linked to its team as any in the NFL? Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson, himself a long-standing Baltimore Colts fanatic, will probe that question in light of the changing relationship of sports to community. Through the eyes of members of the Colts Marching Band, Levinson will illustrate how a fan base copes with losing the team that it loves.

Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? (Mike Tollin)

In 1983 the upstart United States Football League (USFL) had the audacity to challenge the almighty NFL. The new league did the unthinkable by playing in the spring and plucked three straight Heisman Trophy winners away from the NFL. The 12-team USFL played before crowds that averaged 25,000, and started off with respectable TV ratings. But with success came expansion and new owners, including a certain high profile and impatient real estate baron whose vision was at odds with the league's founders. Soon, the USFL was reduced to waging a desperate anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL, which yielded an ironic verdict that effectively forced the league out of business. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning director Mike Tollin, himself once a USFL employee, will showcase the remarkable influence of those three years on football history and attempt to answer the question, "Who Killed the USFL?"

Muhammad and Larry (Albert Maysles)

In October of 1980, Muhammad Ali was preparing to fight for an unprecedented fourth heavyweight title against his friend and former sparring partner Larry Holmes. To say that the great Ali was in the twilight of his career would be generous: Most of his admiring fans, friends and fight scribes considered his bravado delusional. What was left for him to prove? In the weeks of training before the fight, documentarians Albert and David Maysles took an intimate look at Ali trying to convince the world and perhaps himself, that he was still "The Greatest." At the same time, they documented the mild-mannered and undervalued champion Holmes as he confidently prepared to put an end to the career of a man for whom he had an abiding and deep affection. In the raw moments after Ali's humbling defeat in this one-sided fight, the Maysles footage never received a public screening or airing. Here for the first time is the unseen filmed build up to that fight, accompanied by freshly shot interviews by Albert Maysles with members from both the Ali and Holmes camps, as well as others who were prime witnesses to one of the last chapters of Ali's legendary career.

Without Bias (Kirk Fraser)

More than two decades after his tragic cocaine overdose, the late Len Bias still leaves more questions than answers. When Bias dropped dead two days after the 1986 NBA Draft, he forever altered our perception of casual drug use and became the tipping point of America's drug crisis in the mid-80s. Future generations continue to face the harsh punishment of drug policies that were influenced by the public outcry after his heartbreaking death. Instead of becoming an NBA star, he became a one-man deterrent, the athlete who reminded everyone just how dangerous drug use can be. Amazingly, questions still linger about his death nearly a quarter-century later. How good could he have been in the pro ranks? Has he become underrated or overrated as the years pass? How could a University of Maryland superstar and Boston Celtics lottery pick be derailed by a cocaine binge? Was Bias a one-time user as we were led to believe, or was there a pattern of recreational use that led to his fatal last night? Did he fall in with the wrong crowd? In the most ambitious, comprehensive and uncompromising account of Bias' life and death ever captured on film, up-and-coming director Kirk Fraser utilizes dozens of interviews with Bias' closest teammates, friends and family in an effort to determine exactly what happened on that fateful night. Maybe it wasn't as much of a fluke as we thought.

The Legend of Jimmy The Greek (Fritz Mitchell)

The NFL Today on CBS was the preeminent sports program on television in the early 1980s. It was a perfect combination of reporting, analysis, predictions, humor and talent. But there was no personality on the show more popular than Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. The son of Greek immigrants, Jimmy overcame early childhood tragedy, moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in the mid 1950s, and quickly became the biggest name in the world of sports handicapping. When CBS added him as an "analyst" on The NFL Today, "The Greek" not only further increased his stature as a sort of national folk hero, but he also gained an air of respectability never before associated with gamblers. Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Fritz Mitchell, who broke in as a researcher on The NFL Today, will examine Snyder's impact on the growth of sports gambling, while also taking a fresh look at The Greek's tragic downfall.

The U (Billy Corben)

Throughout the 1980s, Miami, Fla., was at the center of a racial and cultural shift taking place throughout the country. Overwhelmed by riots and tensions, Miami was a city in flux, and the University of Miami football team served as a microcosm for this evolution. The image of the predominantly white university was forever changed when coach Howard Schnellenberger scoured some of the toughest ghettos in Florida to recruit mostly black players for his team. With a newly branded swagger, inspired and fueled by the quickly growing local Miami hip hop culture, these Hurricanes took on larger-than-life personalities and won four national titles between 1983 and 1991. Filmmaker Billy Corben, a Miami native and University of Miami alum, will tell the story of how these "Bad Boys" of football changed the attitude of the game they played, and how this serene campus was transformed into "The U."

"30 for 30"

Other previously announced "30 for 30" projects are: Reggie Rock Bythewood (One Night in Vegas), Academy Award winner Bill Couturi� (Guru of Go), Ice Cube (Straight Outta L.A.), Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary (One Simple Gesture), Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (Steve Bartman: Catching Hell), Jonathan Hock (The Best That Never Was), Academy Award nominee Steve James (No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson), the duo of Lucas Jansen and Adam Kurland (Silly Little Game), Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine (Birth of Big Air), Peabody Award winner Dan Klores (Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks), two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple (The Steinbrenner Family Business), Academy Award nominee Frank Marshall (Right to Play), Steve Michaels, Joel Surnow and Jonathan Koch (Charismatic), Academy Award nominee Brett Morgen (June 17, 1994), two-time NBA MVP and first-time filmmaker Steve Nash (Into the Wind), Academy Award nominee Ron Shelton (Jordan Rides the Bus), John Singleton (Marion Jones: Press Pause) and Jeff Zimbalist (The Two Escobars).

The remaining 23 films in the ESPN Films "30 for 30" project will be aired throughout 2010. For information about the "30 for 30" project and ESPN Films, visit: ESPN Films.





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· 30 FOR 30 (ESPN)









[08/02/15 - 08:50 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: "Celebrity Family Feud" Repeats Power Demo Victory for ABC
The Alphabet leads the night among adults 18-49.

[08/02/15 - 08:36 AM]
"Aquarius" Grows by 50% Week to Week in Adult 18-49 for Its Top Rating to Date Among Three Saturday Telecasts
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, August 1.

[08/01/15 - 11:35 AM]
2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Season
The 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival returns October 9 at 9:00/8:00c, celebrating its fifth season, with eight new weekly programs.

[08/01/15 - 11:25 AM]
Disney's "Descendants" Waves Magic Ratings Wand for Disney Channel with 6.6 Million Total Viewers
Disney Channel spins the numbers for Friday, July 31.

[08/01/15 - 09:50 AM]
New Episodes of "Super Why!" Soar Onto PBS Kids Starting August 17
Developed for children ages 3-6, the series helps kids explore reading and the alphabet, word families, spelling, comprehension and vocabulary as they follow their favorite Storybrook Village characters on interactive adventures.

[08/01/15 - 09:49 AM]
PBS Kids Premieres All-New Movie, "Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle"
In this adventure-filled feature-length movie, Curious George takes a trip to space but crash-lands in the jungles of Africa, leading to an unforgettable journey with new animal friends.

[08/01/15 - 08:54 AM]
Friday's "Dateline" Hits Three-Week Highs in 18-49 and Total Viewers
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, July 31.

[08/01/15 - 08:45 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: "Dateline" Powers NBC to Demo Victory
The Peacock leads the night among adults 18-49 for the fifth consecutive week.

[07/31/15 - 04:01 PM]
Raven-Symone Returns to Disney Channel to Guest Star in a Special Episode of Hit Spy Comedy "K.C. Undercover," Monday, September 7
The special one hour episode featuring a tour de force of audacious physical comedy, imagination and unexpected disguises, premieres on said Monday.

[07/31/15 - 03:50 PM]
The CW Sets New Season Premiere Date for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Jane the Virgin"
Both series will now roll out one week earlier, on Monday, October 12.

[07/31/15 - 03:33 PM]
AMC's Martial Arts Drama Series "Into the Badlands" to Premiere Sunday, November 15th at 10:00 P.M. ET/PT
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[07/31/15 - 03:32 PM]
AMC Confirms 15-Episode Order for Second Season of "Fear the Walking Dead"
As previously announced, the series will debut in the U.S. Sunday, August 23 at 9:00/8:00c with an extended 90-minute episode.

[07/31/15 - 03:31 PM]
AMC Places Straight-to-Series Order for "The West" (WT) from Executive Producers Robert Redford and Stephen David Entertainment
In addition, AMC announced today that "The Making of The Mob," also executive produced by Stephen David Entertainment.

[07/31/15 - 01:37 PM]
"Shadowhunters" Star Alberto Rosende to Participate in a Live Twitter Chat with Fans on Tuesday, August 4
Starting at 12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET, fans can tweet Alberto Rosende (@arosende) using #AskAlberto in their message.

[07/31/15 - 01:01 PM]
Starz Releases All New "Blunt Talk" Key Art and Trailer, First Look Photo of Lucy Lawless in "Ash vs Evil Dead," and "Survivor's Remorse" Trailer from TCA
"Blunt Talk" and "Survivor's Remorse" both kick off on Saturday, August 22 on the pay channel.