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30 for 30

30 for 30
The 30 for 30 title card is styled like an old ticket stub
Logo for 30 for 30 Volume I films
Genre Sports documentary
Created by Bill Simmons
Connor Schell
Directed by various
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes Total Aired: 93
Volume I: 30
ESPN Films Presents 13
Volume II: 30[1]
Shorts: 33
Soccer Stories: 8
Production
Producer(s) Bill Simmons
Connor Schell
John Dahl
Release
Original channel
Original release Volume I:
October 6, 2009 (2009-10-06) – December 11, 2010 (2010-12-11)
ESPN Films Presents
March 13, 2011 (2011-03-13) – June 2, 2012 (2012-06-02)
Volume II:
October 2, 2012 (2012-10-02) – 2014[2]
Shorts:
May 15, 2012 (2012-05-15) – TBD
Soccer Stories:
April 15, 2014 (2014-04-15) – July 1, 2014 (2014-07-01)

30 for 30 is the umbrella title for a series of documentary films airing on ESPN and its sister networks and online properties. The series highlights important people and events in the sports world and in sports history. 30 for 30 includes two "volumes" of 30 episodes each,[2] a 13-episode series under the ESPN Films Presents title in 2011–2012, and a series of 30 for 30 Shorts shown through the ESPN.com website. The series also expanded to include Soccer Stories, airing in advance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Background

The idea for the 30 for 30 series began with ESPN.com columnist and Grantland.com founder Bill Simmons, who wanted feature filmmakers to recount the sports stories, people, and events of which they took a personal interest or involvement in, however great or small, and felt had not been fully explored. Volume I of 30 for 30, which premiered in October 2009 and ran through December 2010, chronicles 30 stories from the "ESPN era," which extended 30 years from the network's founding in 1979; each Volume I film details the issues, trends, people, teams, or events that transformed the sports landscape during those three decades, including what Simmons describes as "stories that resonated at the time [they occurred] but were eventually forgotten for whatever reason."[3] John Dahl, Connor Schell and Simmons serve as 30 for 30's executive producers;[4][5][6] Subsequent films in the series, including Volume II and online-only shorts, have expanded the series' scope to include people and events from outside the "ESPN era." In September 2014, Schell said, "Even though we have been at this for five years now, there is no shortage of incredible moments from the world of sports, so that enables us to continue making 30 for 30 films we’re proud of."[7]

List of 30 for 30 Volume I films

Unless otherwise noted, the following films are all 60 minutes in length (including commercials).

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ESPN Films Presents

Other films were previously announced for the 30 for 30 series but were not included in the series. These films, which began airing in 2011, are a continuation of 30 for 30, dealing with more sports stories that 30 for 30 did not cover. According to 30 for 30 producer Bill Simmons: "We're spinning off the "30 for 30" series next year into something that will probably be called "30 for 30 Presents" or something like that... we're going to be putting out 4–5 sports docs per year on the level of the best "30 for 30" docs and getting the best filmmakers to do them. Same creative team is involved. We have some terrific ideas in the hopper. So even though the SMU doc will be the 30th one (right after the Heisman ceremony) don't think the spirit of the series is going away."[8] These additional films include:

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List of 30 for 30 Volume II films

On May 15, 2012, it was announced that the 30 for 30 series would return in the fall of 2012 with all new documentaries. The documentaries will be integrated with Grantland.com by podcasts, feature stories and oral histories. In addition to the new documentaries, unrelated short films will release each month on Grantland.com.[9]

Unless otherwise noted, the following films are all 90 minutes in length (including commercials).

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30 for 30 Shorts

These short films were released on Grantland.com, and are available to watch on the 30 for 30 site.[10]

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List of 30 for 30: Soccer Stories films

On January 11, 2014, it was announced that a soccer-only 30 for 30 series, featuring two-feature-length films and six 30-minute films, would be aired in April 2014, featuring "compelling narratives from around the international soccer landscape". Additionally, a 10-part vignette series, titled Coraçao, about Brazil's rich history, will air during ESPN's 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage.[11]

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Vignettes

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Critical and ratings response

The series had a slow beginning. The first film, Peter Berg's Kings Ransom, a chronicle of Wayne Gretzky's trade from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, premiered on October 6, 2009 to poor ratings.[12][13] Kings Ransom drew a 0.5 national rating and a total viewership of 645,000.[12][13] The premiere of Kings Ransom aired at the same time as the 2009 American League Central tie-breaker game between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers on TBS, which went into extra innings and drew a 4.5 rating.[citation needed]

As awareness and critical acclaim grew, the viewing audience also grew. By the seventh episode, The U, the audience had grown to a 1.8 rating and well over 2 million viewers.[14] The A.V. Club review for the eighth entry, Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, called it "the most hotly anticipated [of the first eight]" and stated that "it more than lived up to the hype."[15]

The A.V. Club has given positive and negative reviews for different episodes in the series, with notable critical reviews of the three episodes that had involvement by the media production arms of Major League Baseball (Four Days in October), the NBA (Once Brothers) and NASCAR (Tim Richmond: To the Limit).[16][17][18]

Awards

  • 2010 Peabody Award Winner[19]
  • 2010 International Documentary Association's "Distinguished Continuing Series"[20]
  • 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program[21]

Sponsors

Cadillac and Levi's are the presenting sponsors of the series. The Cadillac name appears on the 30 for 30 logo, while the Levi's "go forth" slogan appears on the bottom corner of the screen during the directors interstitial comments, which appear for 45 seconds at the beginning of each film and 30 seconds at the end. Commercials for both companies were shown during every intermission during the original air dates, with Levi’s guaranteed a 60-second commercial slot at the beginning of the third act. Cadillac replaced Honda as a primary sponsor; during its time as a contributor, Honda aired parts of its "Dream the Impossible" documentary series in the first commercial break.

See also

  • Nine for IX – a companion series chronicling women's sports stories

Notes

  1. ^ Into the Wind had its premiere on Canada's TSN2 on September 19, 2010 (2010-09-19).
  2. ^ Broke, Benji, and Angry Sky had their premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival.
  3. ^ The Price of Gold originally went by the title Tonya and Nancy during production.[22]
  4. ^ The Myth of Garrincha originally went by the title Garrincha: Crippled Angel during production.[11]
  5. ^ Brothers in Exile will premiere on ESPN Deportes on November 1, 2014, in Spanish, followed by its English premiere on ESPN on November 4, 2014.[7]
  6. ^ The Great Trade Robbery will premiere on ESPN on October 7, 2014 (the same night as Playing for the Mob) before its release online the next day.[7]

References

  1. ^ http://www.espn.com/30for30
  2. ^ a b "ESPN Films Announces Fall Schedule for 30 for 30 Vol. II". ESPN MediaZone. August 3, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Bill Simmons on 30 for 30". ESPN. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  4. ^ "John Dahl". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Connor Schell". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bill Simmons Biography". TVGuide.com. August 13, 2010. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Cingari, Jennifer (September 15, 2014). "Fall Slate Announced for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 as Fifth Anniversary of Series Approaches". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  8. ^ Simmons, Bill. "Chat with Bill Simmons". ESPN. Archived from the original on February 26, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ Sandomir, Richard (May 15, 2012). "ESPN Doubles Up on ’30 for 30’ Documentary Series". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ "ESPN Films: 30 for 30 Shorts Index". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Cingari, Jennifer (January 11, 2014). "ESPN Announces New Film Series, 30 for 30: Soccer Stories, Surrounding 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN". ESPN Media Zone. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Best, Neil (October 9, 2009). "Watchdog – Giants' TV ratings jump is third best in NFL to this point". Newsday. Archived from the original on October 17, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "SportsBusiness Daily Morning Buzz – October 8, 2009". SportsBusiness Daily. October 8, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference the_u was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Tobias, Scott (March 15, 2010). "30 For 30 – "Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on May 15, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  16. ^ Tobias, Scott (October 5, 2010). "30 for 30 – "Four Days in October"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  17. ^ Tobias, Scott (October 12, 2010). "30 for 30 – "Once Brothers"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  18. ^ Tobias, Scott (October 19, 2010). "30 for 30 – "Tim Richmond: To The Limit"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  19. ^ 70th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2011.
  20. ^ Cite error: The named reference Pony was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  21. ^ Cingari, Jessica (August 18, 2014). "ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts Celebrates First Primetime Emmy Win". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  22. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 24, 2013). "ESPN Announces Fall Slate of 30 for 30 Documentaries". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved July 24, 2013. 

External links