The six-part documentary series, from ESPN Films in association with Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, will premiere on Monday, July 16, on ESPN+. “Enhanced” raises questions about the characters, power struggles, and breakthrough innovations that are driving the greatest athletic performances on the planet.
“Enhanced” is an “edgy, forward-looking collection about the limits of the human body,” said Libby Geist, VP and executive producer for ESPN Films. “It’s a fresh new format for ESPN Films and we are continuing to push our own storytelling boundaries as our projects take on different forms.”
ESPN is putting the docu-series behind the ESPN+ paywall in an attempt to boost subscribership for the fledgling over-the-top service, which launched in April. ESPN+ is Disney’s first direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, offering thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks.
The series is executive produced by Alex Gibney — whose credits include “Catching Hell” for ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” — along with Stacey Offman, Brad Herbert, Issac Bolden and Rich Perello.
The “Enhanced” series will feature interviews with a range of experts and athletes. Those include Dan Coyle, author of “The Talent Code”; David Epstein, investigative reporter at ProPublica and author of “The Sports Gene”; Portland Trail Blazers basketball player CJ McCollum; New York Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances; Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey; pro beach volleyball player and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings; Olympic marathon gold medalist and Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge; and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the will to win – often at any cost – as well as the scientific and ethical issues surrounding the attempts to push the body beyond natural limits,” Gibney said in a statement. “But in ‘Enhanced,’ there was also an opportunity to look beyond doping and changing the contours of the body to attempts to change the architecture of the mind in order to increase performance.”