ESPN Films has announced a new”30 for 30″ documentary that is set to air in February.
On Thursday, ESPN announced plans for “This Was the XFL,” directed by Charlie Ebersol and featuring Dick Ebersol and Vince McMahon, which will tell the story of the quickly defunct league.
From the release:
A bold challenge, a fearless experiment and ultimately, a spectacular failure. In 2001, sports entertainment titans Ebersol and McMahon launched the XFL. It was hardly the first time a league had tried to compete with the NFL, but the brash audacity of the bid, combined with the personalities and charisma of Ebersol and McMahon and the marketing behemoths of their respective companies — NBC and WWE — captured headlines and a sense of undeniable anticipation about what was to come.
Bringing together a cast of characters ranging from the boardrooms of General Electric to the practice fields of Las Vegas, “This Was the XFL” is the tale of — yes — all that went wrong, but also, how the XFL ended up influencing the way professional team sports are broadcast today. And at the center of it all – a decades long friendship between one of the most significant television executives in media history and the one-of-a-kind WWE impresario. This film will explore how Ebersol and McMahon brought the XFL to life, and why they had to let it go.
The documentary will air on Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“I grew up on the sidelines watching my father and Vince enjoy incredible success with just about everything they touched, and then, along came the XFL,” said director Charlie Ebersol.
“I saw them take bold creative risks, face unparalleled success and failure with dignity, but most importantly they maintained and celebrated a friendship where most would have cut and run. I learned more about integrity and character in those 18 months than just about any other time in my life, so when ESPN Films asked if I wanted to tell the story of the XFL, I jumped at the opportunity because I knew that the real story was that of an unbreakable friendship.”
The last time “30 for 30” focused on a defunct league with “Small Potatoes: Who killed the USFL?“, the film was met with overwhelming praise.
We’d expect much of the same this time around with the entertainment value and personalities in the XFL.