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The Last Dance Docuseries Sets Highest Viewership Total for an ESPN Original

Illustration for article titled iThe Last Dance/i Docuseries Sets Highest Viewership Total for an ESPN Original
Photo: Streeter Lecka (Getty Images)

The Last Dance is a 10-part, in-depth docuseries about the life and career of NBA superstar Michael Jordan and his time with the Chicago Bulls, which aired on ESPN for the last five Sundays.

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According to Variety, the series was prolific for the network itself, boasting high viewership and becoming the most-watched documentary in ESPN’s history. A total of 5.6 million viewers tuned in to watch during the doc’s 10-episode run. The first two episodes of the docuseries set a record for the most-viewed original broadcasts for an ESPN original since 2004, surpassing the record set by the film You Don’t Know Bo, which averaged 3.6 million viewers.

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“Episode 9 was watched by around 5.9 million viewers, up 10% from the week before and making it the third most-watched episode of the series, behind only the premiere with 6.3 million and episode 3 with 6.1 million,” the site reads. “Oddly enough, the finale lost a little ground on the penultimate episode, drawing 5.4 million pairs of eyeballs.”

ESPN’s original plan was to air the series in June to coincide with the NBA Finals; however, the coronavirus pandemic caused a change in plans, and The Last Dance began airing on Sunday, April 19, giving basketball lovers something to look forward to.

“We are thrilled with the response from fans throughout the run of the series,” said ESPN executive vice president of content Connor Schell. “The past five Sunday nights have brought fans together providing the type of communal viewing experience traditionally reserved for live sports. The exceptional content of the series has cut through culturally and sparked conversations far beyond ESPN platforms.”

Pronounced "Jay-nuh."

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DISCUSSION

hyperbolic-idiot-chamber
Hyperbolic Idiot Chamber

ESPN’s documentary department is seriously one of the best in the business, I’m really looking forward to the Bruce Lee one in a few weeks.