Controversial high school football coach Rush Propst will be the subject of tonight’s debut episode of E:60 Presents (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU), a spinoff series from ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine, E:60.
The first installment, “Friday Night Lies,” originally aired on E:60 in September and tells the story of Propst, a once revered coach at Hoover (Alabama) High School, one of the top football programs in the nation. Propst’s career – and life – reached the tipping point when it was discovered he was leading a double life – with two wives and two families in the same town. The new version will include previously unseen video and scenes of Propst.
“The idea for E:60 Presents really came from Andy Tennant, our executive producer, who had realized that over the years we just continued to do longer and longer stories in our storytelling,” said Ben Houser, coordinating producer of E:60, who also produced the Propst story with associate producer Max Brodsky.
“When E:60 first launched in 2007, we were doing five or six stories in each show, and they were all much shorter,” Houser said. “But over time, I think it’s a credit to how the show has evolved and how much better the storytellers have gotten that all our pieces seem to be going into 12-to-15 minute stories, and then there’s still things left on the cutting room floor.”
After the Propst piece aired last month, some internal discussions that had been ongoing about doing longer E:60 pieces and expanding the show’s brand intensified, and Houser said the result was the launch of E:60 Presents. The new program will be either 30 or 60 minutes in length and will contain either expanded already-aired stories or all-new material. The next show will be tied to the Nov. 30 Ohio State-Michigan college football game.
An ESPN.com story by Wayne Drehs, who helped write “Friday Night Lies,” provided more perspective on the Propst story.
The debut of E:60 Presents airs before and after the GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase live telecast of a game involving Propst’s former school, Hoover (Ala.), against Tuscaloosa (Ala.) County at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.