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30 for 30

30 for 30

Thirty_for_thirty_241x208
Photo Credit:  ESPN
  • Premiered: 
    October 6, 2009
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ESPN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags:

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Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

In honor of its 30th anniversary, ESPN commissioned 30 filmmakers to make one-hour documentaries about any topics from the past 30 years in sports. Shown weekly, this documentary series lets veterans and up-and-comers use their own visions and voices to tell their favorite, touching, and important sports stories. Here's a sample: John Singleton tells the story of Marion Jones; Barry Levinson recaps the 1984 defection of the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in "The Band That Wouldn't Die"; Steve James presents "The Trial of Allen Iverson"; Peter Berg tells about the impact of The Great One in "The Kings Ransom"; Ice Cube gives us "Straight Outta LA". In October 2012, 30 FOR 30 VOL. II hit the airwaves, with: "Broke," about American athletes who often end up filing for bankruptcy; "9.79*," about Ben Johnson in the 100-meter final at the 1988 Seoul Games; "There's No Place Like Home," the story of one fan's obsessive quest to win an auction or James Naismith's original rules of basketball; "Benji," highlighting the murder of 17-year-old Ben Wilson in 1984 Chicago; "Ghosts of Ole Miss," featuring the violence and unbeaten football team at the University of Mississippi in 1962; "You Don't Know Bo," about the myths and legends of Bo Jackson; and more. 30 FOR 30 returned with new episodes in the second part of Season 2 on October 1, 2013 on ESPN, showcasing new films each Tuesday through the beginning of November. In the first episode, "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau" (directed by Sam George), the life of the legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer and pioneering lifeguard is chronicled. Other episodes in Fall 2013 included: "Free Spirts" (directed by Daniel H. Forer), which chronicle the story of the Spirits of St. Louis, one of the ABA basketball teams that didn't join the NBA in 1976 as part of the merger; "No Mas" (directed by Eric Drath), which reveals what really happened in the second fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Robert Duran; "Big Shot" (directed by Kevin Connolly), exploring how John Spano purchased the New York Islanders in 1996 for $165 million -- without having the assets; "This Is What They Want" (directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien), chronicling a 39-year-old Jimmy Connors playing at the US Open when he unforgettably looked at the courtside camera to say "This is what they come for. This is what they want."; and "Tonya and Nancy" (directed by Nanette Burstein), taking a fresh look at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games incident when Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right knee after a practice session on January 6, 1994. Volume III of 30 FOR 30 premiered on Tuesday, October 13 2015 at 9pm ET/6pm PT on ESPN, with a new episode each Tuesday for five consecutive weeks. Film topics include the rise and fall of USC football under head coach Pete Carroll, a city and its mayor fighting against the odds to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the ultimately tragic story of the turbulent relationship between Olympic wrestling stars Mark and Dave Schultz and multimillionaire John du Pont, an exploration of Bill McCartney and his controversial approach running the University of Colorado football program on the way to a national championship, and Evander Holyfield's years of waiting to fight the famed Mike Tyson and make history. The season opener, "Trojan War," picks up when Pete Carroll took over the football program at USC after the 2000 season, the once-great Trojans were under siege. But thanks to his football knowledge, upbeat personality and recruiting skills, Southern Cal was soon back atop the college football world as home attendance skyrocketed, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush won Heismans and the Trojans put together a 34-game winning streak. As it would be later discovered, though, the program was committing sins that would result in lost scholarships, victories and one of those Heismans. But those revelations didn't come until after the national championship game in the 2006 Rose Bowl between USC and the University of Texas. Featuring interviews with Carroll, Leinart and others inside the USC program at the time, "Trojan War" looks at Carroll's nine-year USC reign through the prism of that game, considered one of the greatest in college football history. It was also the beginning of the end.
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On Thursday, April 12, 2018, "The Last Days of Knight," the latest installment of 30 FOR 30, was the first film in the series to appear exclusively on ESPN+, a direct-to-consumer sports streaming service that launched the same day. ESPN+ is the only platform where fans can access the full 30 FOR 30 library.

This documentary chronicles the previously untold behind-the-scenes story of CNN's investigation into why high school All-Americans were leaving Indiana University men's basketball coach Bob Knight's program, and the subsequent fallout after the story broke. "The Last Days of Knight" is directed and narrated by Robert Abbott, the producer at CNN who first began investigating the story back in 1999. Until that time, Knight was seen as a basketball god at IU, delivering three national titles to a state that worships the game and earning a reputation as not just a basketball genius but also a brilliant leader who equated hard work and discipline with success. And yet, there was another side to that success that was about to be exposed.

Production & Distribution

  • Some episodes produced by Asylum Entertainment