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Premium entertainment network
EPIX announced today that
Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football, an EPIX Original Documentary, will make its
World Premiere on
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at 8PM ET. The 60-minute documentary, narrated by Tony Award® winner Jeffrey Wright and produced by 52 time Emmy® award winner Ross Greenburg, tells the little-known story of four outstanding and brave African American men –
Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and
Bill Willis – who broke the color barrier in pro football in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were credited with integrating Major League Baseball. EPIX has joined forces with the National Football League to celebrate the achievements of the Forgotten Four with local screenings in NFL team markets across the country, followed by panel discussions on the current state of race relations and athletics. The first team to kick off the commemoration is the Denver Broncos on August 2, 2014. Other NFL teams confirmed to host events as of now include the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins. More teams will be announced over the coming weeks.
The hardships and triumphs of the Forgotten Four are told through the recollections of their families and those who have researched these remarkable pioneers. Those interviewed for this Epix Original Documentary include Forgotten Four family members Tony Motley (Marion Motley's grandson), Mike Brown (Paul Brown's son), Clem and William Willis, Jr. (Bill Willis' sons), Karin L. Cohen (Kenny Washington's daughter) and Kalai Strode (Woody Strode's son). An all-star lineup of football legends also shares its insights, including:
Don Shula (Hall of Fame coach who also played for the Cleveland Browns),
Bob Gain, Sherman Howard,
Jim Hardy (Los Angeles Rams) and
George Taliaferro (Indiana University). Participating writers/historians include Joe Horrigan (Pro Football Hall of Fame), Lonnie G. Bunch (National Museum of African American History and Culture), Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture), Jarrett Bell (
USA Today) and Brad Pye, Jr. (
Los Angeles Sentinel).
"EPIX is pleased to work with the National Football League to bring the story of these trailblazers in civil rights and professional sports to a new national audience," said Mark Greenberg, President and CEO, EPIX. "We believe
Forgotten Four presents an insightful and informative account of the profound impact these courageous men had on the sport."
Join the conversation about #ForgottenFour on Twitter
http://Twitter.com/EpixHD, on Facebook
http://Facebook.com/EPIX and on the EPIX webpage
Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football, an EPIX Original Documentary, was produced by Ross Greenburg and directed by Johnson McKelvy. Ross Greenburg and Wesley E. Smith are executive producers. Ross Bernard is executive producer and Jill Burkhart is producer for EPIX.
Donovan McNabb, former star NFL quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins, served as creative consultant for the film.
EPIX is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service delivering the latest movie releases, classic film franchises, original documentaries, comedy and music events on TV, on demand, online and on devices. Launched in October 2009, EPIX has pioneered the development and proliferation of “TV Everywhere.” It was the first premium network to provide multi-platform access to its content online at EPIX.com and was the first premium network to launch on Xbox, PlayStation®, Android tablets and phones, Windows 8.1 and Roku® players. EPIX is available to authenticated subscribers on hundreds of devices including Apple® iPads® and iPhones® and is the only premium service providing all its programming on all platforms, delivering more movies than any other premium network, with thousands of titles available for streaming.