ESPN Classic picks weekly pics

Movie showcase premieres with 'Viva Knievel'

NEW YORK — ESPN Classic will premiere a weekly movie showcase beginning Sunday that ties in to its lineup of classic archival footage.

While ESPN and ESPN2 have considered running films in the past, the nets are too event-driven to commit to pics on a weekly basis. But the more malleable ESPN Classic, which cablecasts memorable games from the past, “is a natural place for sports-based entertainment,” said Vince Doria, executive producer of ESPN Classic.

Starting this coming Sunday at 9 p.m., a weekly movie showcase, “Reel Classics,” will premiere with “Viva Knievel,” which features daredevil Evel Knievel fighting crooks when he’s not engineering canyonwide jumps on his souped-up motorcycle.

Following each movie, ESPN Classic will run a nonfiction sports program that’s related in some way to the film. Following the Knievel movie, for example, the network will run a documentary about Knievel and his famous stunts.

Other pics include “The Split” and “The Jackie Robinson Story.”

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