ESPN, Netflix Set Fast Break for ‘Last Dance’

ESPN and Netflix said that the highly anticipated documentary The Last Dance will appear on ESPN in the U.S. on Sunday nights starting April 19 at 9 p.m. ET.

The series will also be available on Netflix outside the United States.

The move comes as ESPN has been scrambling to replace live games on its programming schedule. The NBA has cancelled games and Major League Baseball has delayed the start of the season.

Related: Magnus Says ESPN Seeking Balance of News, Entertainment

Sports fans have been asking for ESPN to move up The Last Dance, but initially, ESPN said it wasn’t ready to air.

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“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience,” ESPN said in a statement. “We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that. This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”

The Last Dance is a 10-part series following the final championship season for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. It includes never-before-seen footage from the 1997-98 season. ESPN will be showing two episodes each Sunday night through May 17. It will also be re-running the previous nights’ episodes before showing new ones, which means most nights, The Last Dance will air for four hours in primetime.

“Michael Jordan and the ‘90s Bulls weren't just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon,” said director Jason Hehir. “Making The Last Dance was an incredible opportunity to explore the extraordinary impact of one man and one team. For nearly three years, we searched far and wide to present the definitive story of an era-defining dynasty and to present these sports heroes as humans. I hope viewers enjoy watching our series as much as we enjoyed the opportunity to make it.”

ESPN tweeted a trailer for the show:


Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.