The first two episodes of ‘The Last Dance’, the 10-part documentary series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ journey to win a sixth NBA title in eight years aired on ESPN Sunday, and it dominated most conversations on social media.
The documentary drew viewership from all walks of life including those who would ordinarily not watch a basketball game. It is currently the most talked-about
‘The Last Dance’ is a new, unequalled sports documentary, directed by Jason Hehir, focusing on the 1997-1998 NBA season from the viewpoint of the legendary Chicago Bulls. It promises never seen before footage of basketball’s most famous team and its most celebrated player, Michael Jordan.
The Last Dance was originally scheduled to be released in June of this year, but given the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing closure of the sporting event, the NBA, the NFL, the EPL, the Olympics decided to push the release date forward.
According to ESPN, The Last Dance averaged 6.1 million viewers for episodes 1 and 2 across ESPN and ESPN2 from 9-11 p.m on Sunday. Of those 6.1 million, 3.5 million were in the 18-49 demographic. Episode 1 (9-10 p.m.) averaged 6.3 million viewers and episode 2 (10-11 p.m.) averaged 5.8 million viewers.
“The Last Dance” averaged 6.1 million viewers for episodes 1 and 2 across ESPN & ESPN2 from 9-11 p.m. ET, per ESPN. Of those 6.1 million, 3.5 million were in the 18-49 demo. pic.twitter.com/QeKYAIliBi— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 20, 2020
The premiere episodes on Sunday rank as the two most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN Networks since 2004. It reportedly ranks as the most-watched telecast among adults 18-34 and 18-49 since sports halted across broadcast and cable networks.
The Last Dance premiere dominated conversation and was the No. 1 trending topic Sunday on Twitter with 25 of the 30 trending topics all linked to the show. It was also the top Google Search Trend in the US on Sunday.
The first two episodes of The Last Dance aired April 19 on ESPN in the US with the remaining eight episodes releasing weekly until mid-May. Everyone outside US will have to watch on Netflix.
Meanwhile, according to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes, Jordan isn’t looking to cash in directly. “The amount Jordan will bank from The Last Dance. He’s donating his entire share of the proceeds, which should reach at least $3 million to $4 million, to charitable causes.”
According to reports, The Last Dance will reveal 500 hours of all-access footage that’s been sitting in the vaults for well over 20 years. In 1997 Jordan allowed cameras to follow the team throughout the entire season with a requirement that the footage could only be used with his permission, permission he only granted almost 20 years later in 2016.