via press release:

ESPN Announces 2011 ‘Year of the Quarterback’ with Multiplatform Initiative

Steve Young, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski Among Others to Participate

‘Tim Tebow: Everything in Between’ Documentary Leads Programming Initiative Jan. 6

ESPN will begin its year-long initiative, Year of the Quarterback (YQB)  — an in-depth examination of one of the most critical, coveted and talked-about positions in all of sports – with  content across all platforms including television, radio, and ESPN The Magazine.  YQB will include commentary and analysis from an all-star cast of specialists, including Trent Dilfer, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden, Jerry Rice, Lou Holtz, and Kirk Herbstreit, to name a few.

“The quarterback is a star-powered position played by many, but excelled by few, and we will dig down to examine why people are so fascinated with this elite group of athletes,” said Joan Lynch, vice president and executive producer, ESPN content development. “ESPN will create and produce extensive content throughout the year to establish 2011 as the ‘Year of the Quarterback’ – among fans, athletes and across the sports spectrum.”

YQB programming begins with Tim Tebow: Everything in Between, which premieres Thursday, Jan. 6, at 7p.m. on ESPN.  The one-hour, behind-the-scenes documentary follows Tebow from the 2010 Sugar Bowl to the 2010 Draft night, revealing what is one of the greatest underdog stories in modern football.

Tebow speaking with a perspective agent:

“…You know, a lot of people around the country either believe in me or don’t believe in me. Say I can do this or can’t do this.  You want to draft me? Then draft me. Want to recruit me? If you think I can be a quarterback, then I will be. If not, don’t talk to me.  I want someone who wants me.  I want an agent who wants me, who believes I’m going to be a quarterback and believes that I’m going to be good at what I do.”

YQB will delve into the topic to find a deeper understanding of one of sports’ most high-profile positions, including the leadership qualities, recruitment and issues of race from the “blue chip” high school recruit, the Heisman hopeful and the NFL legend.  It will tell the story of the quarterback both on and off the field, presented across a range of content formats including documentaries, vignettes and series, and will be integrated into ESPN’s football studio shows over the year: NFL CountdownNFL LiveCollege GameDay, college football bowl coverage as well as BCS and Super Bowl programming, and NFL Combine and Draft coverage.

The initiative kicked off Tuesday, Dec. 14, on ESPN with a one-hour show, Year of the Quarterback: The Kickoff.  Hosted by Chris Connelly, the special featured an unprecedented “quarterback roundtable” drawn from ESPN’s own stable of experts including Gruden, Jaworski and Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, as well as current and former NFL quarterbacks John Elway, Troy Aikman, Joe Namath, Aaron Rogers and Vince Young.

Additional original programming:

  • SportScience– Two half-hour specials covering the NFL Combine and the extreme conditions affecting the quarterbacks’ pass and vision. Scheduled to air Wednesday, Feb. 23, and Friday, Dec. 2, at 7p.m. on ESPN.
  • The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story – Country star Kenny Chesney, a noted football fan, produces a one-hour documentary that takes a personal look at his boyhood idol Condredge Holloway, the first black quarterback at the University of Tennessee. Scheduled to air Sunday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
  • Two for the Show – A four-part half-hour series following the career path of three top-tier college quarterbacks: Jake Locker (Washington) and Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech). Scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 12, at 8 p.m. on ESPN and run four consecutive Tuesdays through May 3.
  • Jon Gruden’s QB Camp: The Draftees – A one-hour SportsCenter special quarterback camp for the top draftees for this year’s class. Scheduled to air Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
  • Jon Gruden’s Elite 11 – Two one-hour shows – The Regionals and The Finals – searching for the top 11 quarterbacks at the high school level in the country.Scheduled to air Friday, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. on ESPN respectively.

About ESPN Content Development

ESPN Content Developmentcreated in June 2007, serves as the incubator of original content for placement throughout ESPN, Inc.’s vast media portfolios.  Based on the vision by John Skipper, executive vice president, content, to “surprise, excite and engage sports fans,” the unit is charged with developing and producing original content programming, which includes high quality, sports-themed documentaries, scripted and unscripted series and groundbreaking televised events.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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