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Michael Jordan at an NBA press conference

ESPN Announces Bumped Up Launch Date for Michael Jordan Documentary

Gettyimages | Aurelien Meunier
By Joe Allen

Like many businesses, ESPN is finding that it has to adjust to a totally new landscape. Because the novel coronavirus has essentially ground the world of sports to a halt, the network is having to rely on new sources to maintain an audience.

Because the network is struggling to fill the gap, they've announced that they will be debuting their highly-anticipated Michael Jordan documentary ahead of schedule. The series will now launch in April, and was originally supposed to go live in June.

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Michael Jordan at the Olympics
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The documentary is called "The Last Dance," and will air over five consecutive Sundays from April 19 through May 17. Outside of the U.S., the series will be available on Netflix.

In a statement, the network said that they had been listening to fans and new that the new documentary was eagerly anticipated. The network also said that they had adjusted the documentary's production schedule in order to make it available months ahead of schedule and fill their own airwaves with new content.

Michael Jordan
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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. 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,” the statement said.

The statement also said that the network hoped the documentary would give people something to unite on as they deal with the virus.

Michael Jordan holding a basketball
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“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 statement said.

The series will focus on Jordan's last year playing with the Chicago Bulls. Originally, the network had planned to air it so that it would coincide with this year's NBA Finals in June.

Image of ESPN Studios
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“Michael Jordan and the ‘90s Bulls weren’t just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon,” said Jason Hehir, the series' director, in a statement. “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.”

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