ESPN Films and FiveThirtyEight to Debut Two Online Docu-Series

/ Sep 9, 2014

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ESPN Films is adding to its digital lineup with two new docu-series. Created with FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s stats-loving news blog, “Signals” and “The Collectors” will both debut in the next few months.

Launching on FiveThirtyEight this October 22, the first episode of “Signals,” called “The Man vs. The Machine,” focuses on the famous chess match between master Gary Kasparov and IMB’s Deep Blue computer. The episode, directed by Frank Marshall, will run for 17 minutes. New “Signals” installments will come out roughly every six weeks.

“The Collectors” won’t launch until December 10, when the first episode will appear on FiveThirtyEight. Centering on a group of people who collect data for a living, from meteorologists to baseball game scorers, “The Collectors” will comprise 10 episodes that will come out about once a month. Steven Cantor will produce.

After ESPN purchased FiveThirtyEight from the New York Times Co. in 2013, the site underwent a makeover. It is now grouped under Exit 31, along with ESPN Films and Bill Simmons’ Grantland.

Both “Signals” and “The Collectors” will be available for viewers on FiveThirtyEight to start and may appear on other platforms after launch, as Marie Donoghue, ESPN Films’ executive vice president of global strategy and original content, explained the network’s goal of “creating content that can travel across platforms.”

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