Meet Your "30 For 30" Executive Producer, Bill Simmons

Monday, August 03, 2009


I'm not saying that Bill Simmons didn't have a lot to do at the "Leader", but....well yeah....he didn't really have a lot to do. He was in charge of a column, and a weekly podcast, but never really had any other responsibilities besides that and a cameo or two on E:60. Well that's all changing as Simmons is now embarking on a producer role for ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series. Via The Hartford Courant....

"It really bothered me that HBO had cornered the sports documentary in the minds of the average sports fan," said Bill Simmons, ESPN's Page 2 columnist and executive producer for the "30 for 30" project.

"Why is it so special when HBO releases one, but yet we're putting out documentaries all the time? Some of them were really good, I thought, and they just kind of fell through the cracks and just didn't make sense to me," Simons said.

In "trying to come up with different ways that maybe we could beat the system" he concentrated on the title, "30 for 30."

"I knew we loved celebrating anniversaries, and I knew we had a lot of money," Simmons said. "And it's like, yeah, we could go get filmmakers."

And so they did, amassing a roster that includes Barbara Kopple, Barry Levinson, Morgan Freeman, Albet Maysles and John Singleton.

The 30 films won't be structured to represent each of the 30 years ESPN has been around, nor will it be all encompassing to cover every event.

"This is meant to be a filmmaker-driven series. It's meant to let creative people be really creative," said Connor Schell, executive producer of the event. "We've picked topics that will collectively create a mosaic of the period. So if you were to watch all 30, you'd get a really good variety of the different types of things that have happened over the last three decades in sports, but by no means is it a countdown."
Well that's certainly a good start to a very large undertaking. Having someone that's passionate in charge of the documentaries, is also a very good idea as well. I think Simmons knows what fans want, and you can expect for the majority of the docus to be very entertaining. Overtaking HBO will be hard, but not impossible.

Here are the dates where you can start checking out the first seven films, this Fall....

* Tuesday, Oct. 6, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m.
* Saturday, Dec. 12, 9 p.m.

Making ESPN a Documentary Force (Hartford Courant)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 4:51 PM

10 Comments:

HBO documentary's are special because they are well filmed and the stories are great.

49er16 said...
Aug 3, 2009, 5:19:00 PM  

Meet You "30 For 30"

Good Lord, learn to type, AA.

Mark said...
Aug 3, 2009, 6:42:00 PM  

HBO's secret weapon? Liev Schreiber's narration.

yournamehere said...
Aug 3, 2009, 11:49:00 PM  

Didn't have a lot to do at the leader? Come on, AA. He had to have free time to watch every TV series and movie in creation so he could make meaningless pop culture references in his columns. And give his own awards for best comedy and best drama over the last 10 years. Because that's VERY relevant to a sports columnist.

Mike said...
Aug 4, 2009, 8:08:00 AM  

You can't spell Documentariesh without douche.

Bigface said...
Aug 4, 2009, 11:09:00 AM  

"Why is it so special when HBO releases one, but yet we're putting out documentaries all the time? Some of them were really good, I thought, and they just kind of fell through the cracks and just didn't make sense to me."

Maybe it was because they were so underpromoted. Wait, what's that? Whenever ESPN has original programming it force feeds viewers ads during every break and pop-ups during games? Well, gee, maybe it was the quality of "A Season on the Brink" and "The Bronx is Burning" that scared viewers away from ESPN's productions....

Buddy said...
Aug 4, 2009, 1:41:00 PM  

Look for a lot of east coast/boston/new york type stuff.

Thrilling.

Peter said...
Aug 4, 2009, 3:09:00 PM  

i strongly doubt ESPN is willing to give Simmons any kind of creative control or input, its just something to attract the Simmonsclones. It's not like they're unaware that he's lazy and talentless.

Aug 4, 2009, 4:19:00 PM  

I think that Simmons can perhaps make ESPN more relevant in this department, but the WWL seems hellbent on infuriating and alienating viewers, so if he has any good ideas, I fully expect Bodenheimer's Gestapo to put the kabosh on them.

Brad James said...
Aug 5, 2009, 2:09:00 PM  
freefun0616 said...
Sep 26, 2009, 5:44:00 AM  

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