[10/10/06 - 12:22 PM]
ESPN Announces Award-Winning Editor and Additional Cast for "The Bronx Is Burning" July 2007 Miniseries Produced by Tollin/Robbins
Michael Rispoli, Dan Lauria, Joe Grifasi, Nestor Serrano, Erik Jensen, Stephen Lang, Loren Dean and Casey Siemaszko join the previously cast John Turturro, Oliver Platt and Daniel Sunjata.

[via press release from ESPN]


Editing for the ESPN Original Entertainment and Tollin/Robbins Productions baseball-themed miniseries "The Bronx is Burning" will be in the capable hands of esteemed Oscar-winning film editor Jerry Greenberg (Invincible, Apocalypse Now). In addition, actors Michael Rispoli (Third Watch), Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years and CSI), Joe Grifasi (*61 and Law and Order), Nestor Serrano (24), Erik Jensen (Love Monkey and CSI), Stephen Lang (Gods and Generals), Loren Dean (Enemy of the State) and Casey Siemaszko (NYPD Blue) have signed on to join previously announced actors John Turturro, Oliver Platt and Daniel Sunjata. The eight-part miniseries based on Jonathan Mahler's bestseller about the unforgettable summer of 1977 and the New York Yankees is scheduled to debut on ESPN in July 2007, marking the 30th anniversary of the Yankees' first World Series championship under George Steinbrenner's ownership.


With four decades' worth of experience, Greenberg established himself as one of film editing's best early on in his career. In 1972 he won an Academy Award and a BAFTA for his work on The French Connection. Eight years later, he was nominated for the same awards for his editing of the instant classic Apocalypse Now. Other projects include Kramer vs. Kramer, Scarface, American History X, The Accused, Angel Eyes and The Untouchables.


The additional cast will flesh out several key storylines: the Yankees team and front office turmoil, the relentless New York media and the New York Police Department which was charged with trying to keep an overwrought city calm amidst the Son of Sam killings and a debilitating blackout. For the Yankees, Jensen will play catcher Thurman Munson with Dean portraying his back-up, Fran Healy, and Grifasi will play former Yankee great Yogi Berra. For the NYPD, Lang will be Deputy Inspector Timothy Dowd who orchestrated the manhunt for the Son of Sam killer with help from Lauria's Captain Joseph Borelli, Siemaszko's Detective Walker and Serrano's Detective Kavanaugh. Finally, Rispoli will portray tough New York newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin from whose sharp words few were safe.

The miniseries will have several advisors on hand throughout production including former Yankees beat reporter Steve Jacobson, former Yankees p.r. director Marty Appel, and former Yankees back-up catcher Fran Healy. Jeffrey Maier, the fan who became famous for deflecting a ball in play during Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship Series between the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles , will serve as an extra and assist with baseball skills training for the actors.


Mahler's non-fiction bestseller, "Ladies and Gentleman, the Bronx is Burning," recounts baseball's triumph over the turmoil and hysteria of 1977 New York City which endured the Son of Sam killings, a terrifying blackout and a bitter mayoral election, and witnessed one team - the New York Yankees - capture all of the hopes and fears of an unforgettable summer.

Principal shooting for the "The Bronx is Burning" began September 18 in several cities and towns in Connecticut. The miniseries will be executive produced by multi-award-winning producers Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola of Tollin/Robbins Productions ("Smallville," "Coach Carter") and writer/producer James D. Solomon whose credits include "The Practice" and "Mambo Kings." Veteran director Jeremiah Chechik ("Benny and Joon," and "Diabolique") will direct the entire series with producer Bill Johnson ("A Walk to Remember" and "The Kid") rounding out the team. Casting will be handled by casting directors Billy Hopkins and Paul Schnee of Hopkins & Hopkins, Smith and Barden Casting ("Natural Born Killer," Good Will Hunting" and "World Trade Center").

Content from the miniseries will be formatted to suit many of ESPN's media platforms. Full episodes will be posted on ESPN360 and ESPN.com. ESPN Home Entertainment, through its exclusive North American distributor Genius Products, will release a content-rich collector's edition of "The Bronx is Burning" onto DVD. Details of the DVD release will be announced soon.


Launched in 2001, ESPN Original Entertainment is ESPN's award-winning original programming banner. The EOE brand spans ESPN's sports-themed original movies, scripted and unscripted dramatic series, daily talk and debate series, documentaries, game shows and groundbreaking televised events such as the X Games and The ESPYS, and is delivered across multiple media platforms. With theatrical releases such as Through the Fire about basketball phenom Sebastian Telfair and Once in a Lifetime about the 1970's New York Cosmos, EOE continues to plant itself firmly on the cutting edge of sports and entertainment television and event creation. Also, EOE's daily lifestyle and entertainment-themed series Cold Pizza and Quite Frankly are cornerstones of ESPN2's programming lineup. With many new scripted and unscripted projects in development, EOE serves both the passionate sports fan and the more casual viewer, and strives to expand ESPN's already industry-leading offerings in live events and sports news & information programming.

  [october 2006]  

· 24 (FOX)
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