Basketball fans have experienced a very different kind of March Madness this year, with the loss of live sports leaving audiences hungry for content. Netflix and ESPN seem to have taken notice, moving up the premiere date of long form doc series The Last Dance, covering the decades-spanning career of basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Originally set to air June 23, the ten part series will now debut on the platform April 19.
In a month that would typically hold the utmost significance to sports fans, the National Basketball Association suspended its season until further notice March 11. ESPN, who collaborated with Netflix to produce The Last Dance, made note of this.
“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.”
— ESPN (@espn) March 31, 2020
The series will document Jordan’s rise to prominence in the 1990s, utilizing over 500 hours of unseen footage from the athlete’s time with The Chicago Bulls during their last championship run in 1997 and 1998. Directed by Jason Hehir and produced by Mike Tollin, who have both been featured as directors for ESPN’s annual documentary series 30 for 30, The Last Dance will include commentary from Jordan himself in addition to dozens of other Bulls figures and sports luminaries.
Netflix will begin streaming The Last Dance April 19, which will air ten episodes until May 17.