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Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ most-watched ESPN documentary ever

Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance was the most-viewed documentary series in ESPN history, after it drew an average of 5.6 million viewers for its 10 episodes.

The series — which chronicled Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls — finished with Episode 9 and Episode 10 on Sunday. The final episodes also averaged 5.9 million and 5.4 million viewers, respectively. Episodes 1 and 2 of the series averaged 6.1 million viewers, a record for the most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN since 2004.

More than 6.3 million viewers tuned in for Episode 1 of the Jason Hehir directed production. ESPN planned to air the series in June, but moved it up to April to fill the void left by a lack of live sports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are thrilled with the response from fans throughout the run of the series,” said Connor Schell, executive vice president of content at ESPN. “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. We are grateful to Jason and his creative team and all of our production partners on the film and look forward to seeing fans continue to engage with The Last Dance in the days and weeks ahead through the ESPN app.”

Chicago was the top metered market for viewership of The Last Dance. Greensboro, N.C., was second for viewership, followed by San Diego, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and Nashville.

The Last Dance was also the top trend on Twitter for five consecutive Sundays. ESPN plans to televise Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals — titled Game 6: The Movie — at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday. The broadcast will include never-before-seen footage.

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