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UPDATED 3/30, 10:50 p.m. ET: The New York Post is reporting that ESPN's The Last Dance has been pushed up and will begin airing on Sunday, April 19.
The 10-part docuseries on Michael Jordan was initially scheduled to air in June but the suspension of the NBA had fans clamoring for the The Last Dance to be released sooner.
After the two-part April 19 premiere, two episodes will air weekly until concluding on May 17.
See original story below.
With sports in America being shut down due to the coronavirus, fans have taken to social media to grieve the premature end of these seasons. During this process, momentum started to swell behind the idea of ESPN expediting the release date for The Last Dance docuseries. It seems like the network has had its ear to the streets as it appears to be ramping up the series' production.
The Last Dance is a 10-part docuseries about Michael Jordan and the final days of the Chicago Bulls dynasty. Initially, the series was supposed to premiere on June 2. This date would allow it to overlap the NBA Finals, bringing more attention to the already highly-anticipated series. Yet, the NBA suspended its season to protect the health of the players and spectators leaving a vacancy in programming that fans want ESPN to fill.
After this groundswell, fans started to notice that ESPN was airing more commercials for the series than usual. Normally, these ads would end with the original release date. But the new commercials now say that the doc is "Coming Soon."
Pushing up the release of the series would benefit the network. With sports at a standstill, networks dedicated to sports are struggling to create filler content. In fact, FS1 was forced to bring production on its daily shows to a halt as it waits for the pandemic to calm down. For ESPN, airing The Last Dance would be a suitable substitute since fans were prepared to watch playoff basketball. Also, the fact the docuseries is centered around one of basketball's most famous figures will allow ESPN to generate attention from casual sports fans as well.