Seen on Screen: ESPN’s Jordan Doc, The Last Dance, To Be Released on April 19; Fox Sports Gets Into Esports With Madden NFL Invitational

Seen on Screen provides a roundup of the current sports programming landscape as networks deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In this week’s edition, major networks like NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and ESPN are combating the silence of no live sports with previously-released, taped, or archival content. Many networks have also continued producing live studio content – often with on-air talent located remotely.

The premiere of The Last Dance, the highly anticipated 10-part documentary series will air on ESPN in the U.S. on Sunday nights over five weeks from April 19 through May 17. The series will also be available outside of the U.S. on Netflix.

The series, directed by Jason Hehir (The Fab Five, The ’85 Bears, Andre the Giant), chronicles one of the greatest icons and most successful teams in sports history, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls, and features never-before-seen footage from the 1997-98 season as the team pursued its sixth NBA championship in eight years.

In the fall of 1997, Michael Jordan, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and head coach Phil Jackson agreed to let an NBA Entertainment film crew follow the team all season long. The result would be a remarkable portrait of an iconic player and a celebrated team – a portrait only now being revealed, more than two decades later, in “The Last Dance.”

As the series weaves its way through the tumultuous 1997-98 season, viewers will be transported back to how it all began – from Jordan’s childhood roots, the Bulls’ dire circumstances before his arrival and how the team was built after drafting him in 1984, to the struggles that eventually led to the team’s first NBA championship. As the series takes the audience through the Bulls’ first five championships, viewers will experience the off-court challenges, struggles, and triumphs that were a part of the culture-shifting phenomenon created by Jordan and the Bulls.

The result is one of the most fascinating sports documentary series ever produced  – a series viewers won’t want to miss.

Click HERE for a full schedule…

…Fox Sports aired the first-ever Fox Esports Madden NFL Invitational on Sunday, March 29 at 7:00 PM ET on FS1. The two-hour event, hosted by Fox Sports broadcasters Chris Myers and Rachel Bonnetta, raised awareness for the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

The tournament matched eight NFL stars in a single-elimination Madden NFL 20 tournament with seven matches across three rounds of play that determined who was crowned the Fox Esports Madden NFL Invitational champion. All players competed remotely and with the games live streamed into a single two-hour telecast on FS1.

The field of celebrity competitors, highlighted by Fox Sports analysts and NFL stars, included Michael Vick, Matt Leinart, Orlando Scandrick, T.J.Houshmandzadeh, Juju Smith-Schuster, Derwin James, Antonio Cromartie, and Ahman Green.

Throughout Sunday’s telecast, Fox Sports spotlighted the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit that works to extend the lifesaving work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Viewers supported the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 response efforts, including the “All of Us: Combat Coronavirus” crowdfunding campaign (give4cdcf.org). Donations to the CDC Foundation’s response efforts address critical emerging needs, including providing support for vulnerable communities; increasing laboratory capacity; strengthening dedicated local response efforts; updating community data and technology infrastructure; addressing health communications needs, boosting clinical research to optimize clinical care and support, and more…

…NBC Sports Philadelphia announced Philadelphia 76ers coverage including three classic game broadcasts and two NBA 2K20 game simulations. Updated content is also available daily across NBC Sports Philadelphia’s platforms, including the MyTeams app.

Starting this week, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Classic Games are available via live stream, on the MyTeams app, and on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com.

Two NBA 2K20 simulations against the Rockets and Wizards are on tap this week. The viewer experience will include the same video and audio components of NBA 2K20 gameplay, along with contributions from 76ers broadcasters Marc ZumoffAlaa Abdelnaby and Serena Winters. Additional content will be available on nbcsportsphiladelphia.com and on the network’s social platforms.

Tuesday, March 31
6:00 pm – NBA 2K20: Rockets at 76ers
7:00 pm – Christmas Day Game: Bucks at 76ers from 12/25/19
9:00 pm – NBA 2K20: Rockets at 76ers

Friday, April 3
6:00 pm – NBA 2K20: 76ers at Wizards
7:00 pm – 2018 NBA Playoffs: First Round, Game 1: Miami at 76ers from 4/14/18
9:30 pm – NBA 2K20: 76ers at Wizards