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ESPN Classic Teams Up with 60 Minutes

9/20/2004 8:52 AM Eastern

ESPN Classic is going to open 60 Minutes’ vault to help produce a new series.

The vintage sports network has reached an agreement with CBS News Productions and the venerable newsmagazine to team up on 60 Minutes on Classic.

Hosted by 60 Minutes host Steve Kroft, each half-hour show will revisit a pair of thematically linked 60 Minutes segments focusing on sports figures. Initial development plans call for two 13-episode seasons, with installments premiering Tuesdays at 8 p.m. then repeating at 8:30 p.m., 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

The first out of the gate is an installment slated for late October that will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the Oct. 30, 1974, fight in which Muhammad Ali became the first man to regain the heavyweight-boxing crown by knocking out George Foreman in the eighth round in Zaire, Africa.

The initial program will include a 1996 segment from 60 Minutes featuring Ali and a 1995 segment with Foreman.

Other subjects that will be featured in future episodes include: tennis legends Billie Jean King and the late Bobby Riggs (1973); New York Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner (1987); Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong (2000); hoops hero Michael Jordan (1987); Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno (1978); and former Major League Baseball pitcher Dwight Gooden (1985).

Retro network TV Land also utilizes the 60 Minutes archives on TV Land Legends, The 60 Minutes Interviews, a series hosted by Ed Bradley that is produced by CBS News Productions.

“Fans look to ESPN Classic as the curators of sports history,” ESPN executive vice president of programming and production Mark Shapiro said in a prepared statement.

“They expect us to deliver the personalities, stories and context that have shaped, and continue to shape, the ever-changing sports landscape,” he added. “Adding the storytelling of these magnificent 60 Minutes segments to ESPN Classic’s own lineup is an extraordinary way to enhance the fan’s understanding of the sports world.”

September