TCA: ESPN Tackles Quarterback Multiplatform Initiative


ESPN will take an in-depth look at the position of football quarterback as part of a year-long, multiplatform programming initiative, the network outlined Wednesday during its Television Critics Association winter tour presentation.
The Year of The Quarterback initiative will take a deeper understanding of one of sports' most high profile position positions, including leadership qualities, recruitment and issues of race from through vignettes, documentaries and series. Content from the initiative will be integrated into ESPN's football studio shows over the year including NFL Countdown, NFL Live, College GameDay, as well as the network's college and pro football game coverage, according to Joan Lynch, vice president and executive producer for ESPN content development.
The initiative, which launched Dec. 14 with the Year Of The Quarterback: The Kickoff Show special, will continue Jan. 6 with the documentary special, Tim Tebow: Everything in Between, which follows Denver Broncos quarterback from his performance in the 2010 Sugar bowl to his 2010 draft night. Other programming related to the initiative include SportScience, featuring two half-hour specials covering the NFL Combine and the extreme conditions affecting the quarterback's pass and vision; The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story, a one-hour documentary starring country music star Kenny Chesney who takes a personal look at the first black quarterback at the University of Tennessee; Two for The Show, a four-part, half-hour series following the career path of three top-tier college quarterbacks; Jon Gruden's QB Camp: The Draftees, a one-hour SportsCenter special quarterback camp for the top draftees for this year's class; and Jon Gruden's Elite 11, a pair of one-hour shows that searches for the top 11 quarterbacks at the high school level.
Lynch said that positive reaction from the network's 30 For 30 documentary series helped convince the network to greenlight the ambitious project.