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For the last month, sports fans have been tuning into ESPN’s The Last Dance, which has taken an extensive look at the final championship run of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. The docuseries has proven to be a ratings hit for the network, which is currently in the midst of a drought due to the lack of live sporting events. As you can expect, ESPN and Disney are looking for ways to capitalize on the show’s success, and it seems that will now come in the form of a follow-up special.
ESPN sister network ABC will broadcast a one-hour special titled After the Dance With Stephen A. Smith: A SportsCenter Special this coming week. During the event, Smith and Los Angeles Lakers icon Magic Johnson will break down the biggest revelations from The Last Dance. According to THR, the pair will be joined by other NBA veterans as well. The special is set to air on Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. ET.
Hearing that ESPN wants to send off The Last Dance with a special program. The trade reports that the docuseries has averaged better than 5 million same-day viewers during its first four weeks on the air. And that number is growing with delayed viewing. With this, each episode was garnered more viewers than any NBA game this season.
Speaking of the NBA, many are surely aware that the 2019-2020 season was forced to stop indefinitely due to the global health crisis. The Last Dance, which was originally scheduled to premiere in June following the season’s conclusion, was moved up as a result. So it would seem ESPN is getting the most out of Jason Hehir’s documentary.
The Last Dance has provided fans with some serious insight into the Bulls’ road to the 1998 NBA title. On the court, the group was a tight unit that was anchored by the leadership of Michael Jordan and head coach Phil Jackson. Nevertheless, off the court, the team did have some interesting situations to contend with, including Dennis Rodman’s impromptu trip to Las Vegas with Carmen Electra.
The expansive series has also touched on the more personal aspects of the Bulls’ lives, especially Michael Jordan’s. Aside from chronicling his rise to the basketball stardom, it also highlights his personal relationships, such as the bond he had with the late Kobe Bryant. Jordan’s time filming Space Jam during the summer of 1995 was also covered.
Even though The Last Dance will reach its conclusion tonight, fans will at least have After the Dance to satisfy their basketball fix. It’ll be interesting to see who ends up joining Stephen A. Smith and Magic Johnson. Maybe Jordan himself will pay a visit.
The Last Dance airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, and those who haven’t seen it will still be able to do so when it arrives on Netflix this summer.