After 37 original episodes and more than 130 features, ESPN’s prime-time newsmagazine E:60 moves into its third year with three additional new episodes airing on consecutive Tuesdays beginning Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The program, which debuted Oct. 16, 2007, and has received six Sports Emmy Award nominations, combines investigative reporting, in-depth profiles of intriguing sports personalities and features on emerging star athletes. These stories are presented in a fresh and innovative format that incorporates producer/correspondent story ideas meetings.
A team of award-winning ESPN journalists – Jeremy Schaap , Lisa Salters , Tom Farrey , Rachel Nichols and Michael Smith – report in each show, with additional guest reporters appearing periodically. The program is produced by a team of seasoned and award-winning documentary producers, with content distributed across multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN International.
At completion of the program’s first two years, executive producer Andy Tennant said E:60 has delivered on its original premise of combining the best forms and principles of television storytelling with investigative reporting.
“We’re proud of the way we’ve innovated in all areas of television storytelling production, from shooting to graphics,” he said. “Our feature stories are packaged in a coherent, aesthetic way that calls attention to both the story and the production.”
Investigative pieces, including stories on pedophiles in youth gymnastics and the air quality in ice rinks, and exclusives, such as the first on-camera interview with NFL player Donte Stallworth after he had served a jail sentence, have become staples of E:60 in its first two years. E:60’s Sports Emmy Award nominations have ranged from long-form storytelling to investigative journalism, graphic design and music.
“In a day and age of live event programming and the 24/7 news cycle, there aren’t a lot of places that are committed to long-form journalism,” Tennant said. “We’re very fortunate that ESPN has committed itself by devoting an hour of prime time for us to come in and tell the longer story.”
Some highlights from the first two years of ESPN’s E:60 in the categories of investigations, storytelling, exclusives, women in sports, introductory profiles and unusual/cutting edge stories:
E:60 has presented numerous pieces with deep, hard-hitting investigative journalism:
Violated – A revelation of how efforts to keep pedophile coaches out of the nation’s gymnasiums have been fraught with failure. WATCH
Rink Pollution – E:60 conducted studies within numerous ice rinks in different parts of the country to examine the levels of harmful pollutants being emitted by ice resurfacing machines. As a result, states were encouraged to add rink pollution laws. WATCH
Justice Intercepted – An examination of a sex crime and cover up at Florida’s Miami Northwestern High School. WATCH
The core of E:60 is storytelling. Highlights:
Ray of Hope – How the tragic death of Jason Ray, who portrayed the mascot for the University of North Carolina basketball team, in a traffic accident, saved lives because Ray was an organ donor. WATCH
The Good Son – The story of Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade and his mother, who struggled for years with alcohol and drug problems but became an ordained minister while in prison for selling drugs. WATCH
Lost Boy – The story of Macharia Yuot, one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” who escaped during civil war via an 800-mile trek. Yuot wound up in Philadelphia, began distance running and became a six-time NCAA champion. WATCH
In two years, E:60 has become one of the few programs athletes first turn to tell their stories including:
Vince Young – the Tennessee Titans quarterback spoke exclusively with E:60 about his fall from grace, including appearing to quit on his team and raising concerns that he was suicidal. WATCH
Donte Stallworth – The NFL wide receiver talked on camera for the first time after serving jail time for killing a man while driving drunk. WATCH
Plaxico Burress – Before going to prison, the New York Giants wide receiver spoke exclusively to E:60 about the night he shot himself in a Manhattan nightclub, his first interview since the incident. WATCH
Women in Sports
The program also told the stories of key women in sports as athletes and executives. Some highlights:
Alba Colon – In the macho world of NASCAR, Puerto Rico-born Colon holds an engineering position with Chevrolet that helped win championships for the manufacturer as well as stars such as Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon. WATCH
Gina Carano – In the violent world of mixed martial arts, Carano is blazing a new path for herself and other women with her rare combination of beauty and raw fighting skills. WATCH
Dara Torres – In a revealing interview, Torres talks about the unusual lengths she went to while training for the U.S. Olympic trials and her shot at history as a 41-year-old competitor. WATCH
Introductory Profiles on Future Stars
E:60 has been the definitive program where sports stars of tomorrow are introduced to fans via in-depth profiles. Some include:
Kimbo Slice – E:60 introduced Slice as he was on the cusp of transitioning from a bouncer in Miami clubs, street brawler, and internet sensation, to a career in mixed martial arts. WATCH
James Stewart – The first African-American to win a major American motorsports title, Stewart has dominated AMA Supercross competition. From a poor background, Stewart dealt with racism in his early years of motorcycle racing but has risen to earn more than $10 million a year. WATCH
Joey Logano – E:60 profiled Logano as a teenager and before he began racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, capturing the youngster’s off-the-track personality and future prospects on it. WATCH
E:60 has featured some of the unique sports including:
Fight Club – In the heart of the Silicon Valley, some hi-tech engineers have found a unique counterweight to their staid desk jobs: a “Gentlemen’s Fight Club.” The club brings together men once a month to do battle with an array of culturally expressive weapons, including copies of Martha Stewart Living magazine laced with brass rods and computer keyboards. WATCH
The Amazing Chase – Every May, thousands attend the annual cheese roll in Gloucestershire, England. E:60 went to the hill to witness this one-day event where runners risk life and limb chasing cheese. WATCH
Last of the Barrel Jumpers – Just three decades ago, the sport of barrel jumping – essentially long jumping on ice skates over a series of barrels – was regularly seen by millions as part of ABC’s Wide World of Sports. E:60 reported the efforts of a Quebec man to keep the dying sport alive. WATCH
For complete E:60 features and expanded versions of the reporter-producer meetings, click http://www.e60.com
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