ESPN and Netflix Set New April 19 Premiere Date for Highly Anticipated Documentary Series “The Last Dance”
10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ quest for a sixth NBA Championship in 1998 is produced by Mandalay Sports Media, in association with NBA Entertainment and Jump 23
March 31, 2020 – Today it was announced that 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.
ESPN statement: “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. 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.”
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.
It’s an unlikely scenario that serves as a fascinating backdrop for the inside tale of the 1998 championship run, with extensive profiles of Jordan’s key teammates including Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr, head coach Phil Jackson, and featuring dozens of current-day interviews with rivals and luminaries from basketball and beyond. All throughout, the tension and conflict that defined that final championship run are very much on display.
“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.”
The result is one of the most fascinating sports documentary series ever produced – a series viewers won’t want to miss. The full episodic documentary will air on ESPN in the U.S. and on Netflix outside of the U.S. as follows:
Sunday, April 19
9 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 1
10 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 2
Sunday, April 26
7 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 1
8 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 2
9 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 3
10 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 4
Sunday, May 3
7 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 3
8 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 4
9 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 5
10 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 6
Sunday, May 10
7 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 5
8 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 6
9 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 7
10 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 8
Sunday, May 17
7 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 7
8 p.m. ET - Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 8
9 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 9
10 p.m. ET - Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 10
NETFLIX (outside of the U.S.)
Monday, April 20 - 12:01 a.m. PT - “The Last Dance” Episodes 1 and 2
Monday, April 27 - 12:01 a.m. PT - “The Last Dance” Episodes 3 and 4
Monday, May 4 - 12:01 a.m. PT - “The Last Dance” Episodes 5 and 6
Monday, May 11 - 12:01 a.m. PT - “The Last Dance” Episodes 7 and 8
Monday, May 18 - 12:01 a.m. PT - “The Last Dance” Episodes 9 and 10
Immediately following each episode’s linear ESPN premiere, it will be available to authenticated subscribers on the ESPN App via mobile and connected TV devices, ESPN.com and ESPN on Demand via cable, satellite and DMVPD distributors.