ESPN’s Chicago Bulls-focused documentary series “The Last Dance” mirrored the 90’s Bulls on-court play, dominating television ratings on its second night. Episodes 3 and 4 averaged 5.9 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2 on Sunday night.
In total, the four episodes have averaged 6 million viewers, representing the four most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN networks since 2004. It also accounts for the four of the six most-viewed telecasts among adults 18 to 34 since sports were halted in mid-March.
Jason Hehir, the documentary’s director, spoke to GQ about how “The Last Dance” has connected with audiences, saying it “is a communal moment for everyone.” “I think people just wanted to sit down and enjoy this. We haven’t had that kind of monoculture moment during this shutdown. When the Game of Thrones finale aired, I feel like everyone gathered around their TVs and watched that, and we haven’t really had that moment during the shutdown,” he said.
Hehir said that he has not heard from Jordan specifically since the series started to air. However, he has heard from those around Jordan, noting that “everybody’s really thrilled with the ratings and the response that it’s gotten critically.”
While there are still six more episodes of “The Last Dance” remaining, there is already some discussion on what team or player fans want to see in the same treatment. Some of that focus is centering on Kobe Bryant, who, according to ESPN, had a camera crew following his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2015-2016 season.
The crew got full access to the team’s locker room, training room, practice facility, and even on its charter plane. According to ESPN sources, the footage had been in the editing stages for a potential documentary to be released years from now. Bryant had also seen edited material and provided feedback on it before his passing in January.