In a press release, ESPN announced that the 30 for 30 documentary on the XFL, titled This Was The XFL, will debut on February 2 at 9PM EST with a world premiere taking place at DOC NYC tomorrow.
This 77-minute documentary is directed by Charlie Ebersol, chronicling the short-lived, ill-fated pro football league. The documentary tells the story in fascinating, candid, and often rollicking fashion featuring fellow television legends and close friends, Dick Ebersol and Vince McMahon.
McMahon and Ebersol launched the XFL in 2001 and the experiment bombed big time, costing WWE and NBC millions of dollars. This film will explore how Ebersol and McMahon brought the XFL to life, and why they had to let it go.
“I grew up on the sidelines watching my father and Vince enjoy incredible success with just about everything they touched, and then, along came the XFL,” said director Charlie Ebersol. “I saw them take bold creative risks, face unparalleled success and failure with dignity, but most importantly they maintained and celebrated a friendship where most would have cut and run. I learned more about integrity and character in those 18 months than just about any other time in my life, so when ESPN Films asked if I wanted to tell the story of the XFL, I jumped at the opportunity because I knew that the real story was that of an unbreakable friendship.”
John Dahl, Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Films said, “We felt that the colorful personalities and storylines featured throughout the rise and fall of the XFL deserved a more detailed examination, and as Dick Ebersol’s son, Charlie provided a personal understanding of it all. The XFL was a gamble, and even though the league didn’t ultimately succeed, we think audiences will really enjoy this tale of risk and ambition.”