12:47pm

Fri October 5, 2012
Sports

ESPN Announces 'All-Access Kentucky' Series

ESPN will premiere a new sports series this fall focusing on the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. All-Access Kentucky debuts this month, according to a news release from UK, and will follow Coach John Calipari and his staff as they guide the new faces of the defending national champion Wildcats from Big Blue Madness to the start of the 2012 season. The multi-part series will consist of 30-minute weekly shows airing on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Eastern Time with the first three episodes scheduled for Oct. 17, 24 and 31.

All-Access Kentucky will provide a never-before-seen perspective of the Wildcats preparation for the basketball season. The episodes will chronicle teaching six new players the Kentucky system and trying to mold high school superstars into instant national champions, all while recruiting the class of 2013. The cinéma vérité series will showcase what life can be like on a top-level collegiate basketball team, providing a unique window into the first step in building a national champion, the news release said.

“Our mission at ESPN is always to serve sports fans and with many new players on the Wildcats this year, there is enormous interest surrounding this team,” Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and acquisitions, said in the news release. “All-Access Kentucky gives us an opportunity to deliver something entertaining and unique that helps bring fans closer to a sport they love.”

The series will be a trip inside the lives of Coach Cal, his staff and the players, the fight for playing time, what happens in the weight room, the inside jokes and pranks. All-Access Kentucky will highlight UK’s seemingly unrivaled ability to land top players and quickly build them into a cohesive team, as they try to repeat as national champion with four freshmen and no starters from the previous season.

ESPN will also produce original segments and highlights from the series to air across SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms including ESPN.com andSportsNation.

“College basketball fans are among the most passionate and dedicated sports fans in the country and they have a strong desire to connect with their team and feel a part of the action,” Jamie Horowitz, ESPN’s vice president of original programming and production, said in the news release. “All-Access Kentucky will bring people behind the scenes of this storied program to capture both the joys and the challenges of creating and leading an elite college basketball team.”