ESPN moves up release of Michael Jordan documentary 'The Last Dance'

"The Last Dance" has been in the works since 1997, when Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and head coach Phil Jackson agreed to let a film crew follow the team.
Image: Michael Jordan
Former NBA star Michael Jordan.Charles Rex Arbogast / AP file

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By Gwen Aviles

ESPN announced Tuesday that it would be moving the premiere of its highly anticipated documentary about Michael Jordan's last championship season with the Chicago Bulls to April and fans who have been starved for content after professional sport teams suspended their seasons because of the coronavirus outbreak are rejoicing at the news.

“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience," a spokesperson for ESPN wrote in a statement. "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 10-part documentary series, titled "The Last Dance," was originally set to be released via ESPN and Netflix in June. However, after fans lobbied ESPN to move up its premiere via social media, the documentary will now run over five consecutive Sundays on the network from April 19 to May 17 and will be available on Netflix the following Mondays.

"April 19th can’t come fast enough. I CAN NOT WAIT!!" tweeted LeBron James.

"The Last Dance" has been in the works since 1997, when Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and head coach Phil Jackson agreed to let an NBA Entertainment film crew follow the team for the season. The documentary will include interviews and never-before-seen footage with Jordan's former teammates, including Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr, and other prominent basketball figures.

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