Hollywood -- ESPN Wednesday announced an ambitious slate that will see the network produce five original movies to air over the next two years.
In addition to its already-announced summer-2004 film based on the life of National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing driver Dale Earnhardt, the network will produce:
• Hustle, based on disgraced baseball player Pete Rose's life during his infamous baseball-betting period;
• Four Mile, chronicling Roger Bannister's historic four-minute mile record;
• October Men, highlighting the 1977-78 New York Yankees, based on the book of the same name;
• The Bob Delaney Story, which looks at the life of the National Basketball Association official who also served as an undercover FBI agent; and
• Code Breakers, based on the 1951 West Point football team cheating scandal.
ESPN Original Entertainment senior vice president Ron Semiao made the announcement Wednesday at the network's Television Critics Tour presentation here.
Semiao also said the network will most likely make a decision on whether to bring back popular but controversial scripted series Playmakers no later than March 1.
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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