Netflix is sporting the red, navy blue and white this year. The streaming giant announced not one but two documentary projects about the MLB team the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.
The first project is a docuseries that will follow the team during the 2024 baseball season. This will mark the first time Netflix has followed an MLB team this closely as the series will feature exclusive access to players, coaches and executives. The series is expected to debut in 2025.
The project comes from Greg Whiteley, who is well versed in intimately following a team throughout an entire season. Whiteley was behind all five seasons of Netflix’s “Last Chance U,” a docuseries that explored the football seasons at a variety of junior college programs. For many athletes, their performance in this league marks their final chance at advancing to the more prestigious Division 1.
The second Red Sox docuseries will look back on the 2004 season, which culminated in what is considered to be one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. That year the team won its first World Series title in 86 years. The project will feature exclusive interviews with key players and figures from the team that broke one of baseball’s longest curses. After that early 2000s victory, the Red Sox have won more World Series in the last 20 years than any Club in MLB.
Whiteley also served as the director and executive producer for Netflix’s massive sports hit “Cheer” and produced the docuseries “Wrestlers” for Netflix last year. He will direct and executive produce this currently untitled docuseries about the 2024 Red Sox season through One Potato Productions. Andrew Fried and Dane Lillegard will also executive produce for Boardwalk Pictures, the production company behind “Cheer,” “Chef’s Table” and “Race: Bubba Wallace.”
Colin Barnicle, who is known for “This Is a Robbery: The World’s Greatest Art Heist,” “Carol & Johnny” and ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, will direct the 2004-centric docuseries as well as executive produce. Additional executive producers will include Nick Barnicle, John Skipper, Deirdre Fenton, Howard Bryant, Melody Shaffir, Nick Davis and Nick Trotta. The project will be produced by Meadowlark Media.
“The partnership between MLB, Netflix and the Red Sox will have a significant impact on growing the game of baseball,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in a statement. “The reach of Netflix is profound and these docuseries are ambitious. One will relive one of the most magical stories that forever changed this franchise, and the other is a truly groundbreaking endeavor that will provide an inside look at the lives and personalities of today’s Red Sox players.”
“Our fans love that our sports series focus on the drama of sport and nothing was more dramatic than the 2004 Red Sox season, especially having witnessed their comeback from the bleachers during Game 7 against the Yankees,” Gabe Spitzer, vice president of nonfiction sports at Netflix, said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to partner with this iconic franchise to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the greatest sports comeback ever, while also looking forward to the team’s future with inside access to their 2024 campaign.”
The announcement comes as Netflix has been ramping up its presence in the sports arena with a $5 million deal with WWE and increased golf programming. It also arrives on the heels of news that Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox are teaming up to launch an unprecedented live sports streaming joint venture this fall.
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