Touting RISE UP, films at TCAs

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — On July 27, ESPN Content Development announced two of its new fall programming projects to TV critics and reporters at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour.

The aim of ESPN’s participation on the TCA Press Tour was twofold: to showcase our best original programming, talent and experts for the TV writers, and to meet the writers’ news and information needs.

ESPN chose to highlight two projects: RISE UP and ESPN Films’ new slate of documentaries, all airing this fall.

The RISE UP panel was led by Keith Clinkscales, Senior Vice President, ESPN content development and enterprises; and featured Joan Lynch, Vice President, ESPN content development; Chris Spielman, RISE UP host and ESPN college football analyst; Deanne Bell, RISE UP host, mechanical engineer and television personality; and Shannon Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers.

RISE UP, which airs beginning Sept. 13, is an inspirational series that takes on the challenge of completely rebuilding four high schools’ athletic facilities from the ground up.

The video above highlights RISE UP: New Orleans, the pilot for the series which aired in September 2010.

The new episodes will feature the following communities and schools:

• Wellston High School in Wellston, Ohio
• The Dorchester Education Complex in Boston, Mass.
• Ingraham High School in Seattle, Wash.
• Walter H. Dyett High School in Chicago, Ill.

RISE UP will spend time with the students and coaches in each community, uncovering the challenges facing high school athletes today, and working with professional athletes, coaches, and trainers to help motivate and inspire them to reach even greater goals.

Additionally, country music star Kenny Chesney has signed on to write and record the theme song for RISE UP.

“I am very proud to be a part of RISE UP in a small way,” says Chesney.

“I believe ESPN is doing something incredibly important and historic. To be a part of something that is going to help so many kids, players, coaches, schools, and communities is an honor.”

The second panel showcased ESPN Films’ fall slate of documentaries that will be aired beginning Sept. 25.

The panel was led by Connor Schell, VP, ESPN Films, and featured Chuck Wepner, former heavyweight boxer and subject of The Real Rocky; Mike Tollin, filmmaker and producer of The Real Rocky; Chris Herren, former NBA player and subject of Unguarded; Jonathan Hock, filmmaker, Unguarded; and Clinkscales.

The panel discussed and previewed the seven documentaries and delved into why these films resonate with fans.

”In every single one of these projects, we are always looking for stories where sports are really a window into culture and making larger statements about American society and world culture.” said Schell during the TCA panel.

Documentary air dates and summaries can be found here.

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