At the moment (and emphasis on “moment”), there doesn’t seem to be a lot of drama in the main Emmy categories. “Succession,” “Schitt’s Creek,” “Watchmen,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Bad Education” are the likely winners in their respective categories. There is one race, however, that is simply too close to call, and Jason Hehir’s “The Last Dance” is in the thick of it.
The 10 episode ratings wonder for ESPN chronicles the final season of the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls as Michael Jordan attempts to win a sixth NBA championship in just eight years. Heir and his editing team had access to behind-the-scenes footage chronicling that journey that only NBA executives and Jordan himself, had seen. The result was eye-opening not only to fans but to Jordan’s teammates and peers at the time.
As for the Emmys, Hehir is singularly up for Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program, but in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series race “Last Dance” is up against Hulu’s critically acclaimed “Hillary” and Netflix’s cultural phenomenon “Tiger King” (HBO’s “McMillion$” and PBS’ “American Masters” round out the field). And the crazy thing is, at the moment the honor is still set to be handed out on the final night of the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, Sept. 19.
Hehir joined the Four Quadrant podcast to discuss the last-minute scramble to finish “The Last Dance” months early and, more intriguingly, discusses how supposed criticism from acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and Jordan’s teammate, Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, wasn’t what NBA aggregators and sports media sites made it out to be.
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