“The Last Dance” closed its run Sunday night, but a version of the 1998 Chicago Bulls team will still be on TV screens later this week.
ESPN announced Monday it will air “Game 6: The Movie” on Wednesday at 9 pm. ET. It will follow an encore airing of Episodes 9 and 10 of “The Last Dance.”
“Game 6: The Movie” will cover the title-clinching Game 6 the 1998 NBA Finals between the Bulls and the Utah Jazz. The final game of the series is considered one of the most dramatic games in NBA history, sealed by Michael Jordan’s game-winning shot.
ESPN executive vice president of content Connor Schell said in a statement:
“Rarely, if ever, do you have the opportunity to showcase one of the most storied games in NBA history in an innovative, new presentation that includes never-before-seen material that takes fans further inside the action.”
It will use archived material from the NBA, featuring exclusive, never-before-seen game footage by five different cameras, per ESPN. It will use the original commentary over “new and innovative views of the historic game.” The commentators for the game were Bob Costas, Isiah Thomas, Doug Collins, Ahmad Rashad and Jim Gray. Per ESPN, the movie will also be the first time the game has been available in high-definition.
It is produced by Winik Media, whose CEO, Gregg Winik, said in a statement:
“It’s not often sports fans get the chance to view an entire game in a truly cinematic form. Viewers will now have that opportunity. The film footage paired with the original telecast commentary creates a unique multi-media experience the likes of which have never been seen before. Now that the world intimately knows “The Last Dance” cast of characters, “Game 6: The Movie” is the perfect epilogue.”
“The Last Dance” showcased the 1998 Bulls season and the franchise’s sixth NBA championship in eight years. It spanned 10 episodes, two each on Sunday nights since mid-April, and averaged 5.6 million viewers over the first eight episodes, per ESPN. Including DVR, on-demand and encore presentations, the first six episodes averaged 12.2 million viewers.
The documentary benefited from a sports-less calendar due to the COVID-19 crisis — which is why it was rushed ahead — and pulled 57 percent more viewers than the premier of the second most-watched documentary in the network’s lineup.
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