Neshannock grad nominated for Emmy for Jordan documentary

Estee Portnoy

Estee Portnoy’s resume keeps growing. 

Portnoy, a 1985 Neshannock High School graduate, counts overseeing the daily business and marketing activities for Michael Jordan as her day job. Now she can add “Emmy-nominated” to her resume. 

An executive producer for the smash ESPN docu-series “The Last Dance,” Portnoy was nominated along with colleagues Jason Hehir, Mike Tollin, Curtis Polk, Connor Schell, Gregg Winik and Andrew Thompson in the outstanding documentary or nonfiction series when nominees were announced Tuesday. The documentary also garnered three total nominations.

The 10-part series took an in-depth look at Jordan’s 1998 NBA champion Chicago Bulls and showed behind-the-scenes archival footage as the team won its sixth championship in eight years. Jordan retired for the second time after the 1998 season. 

The Hehir-directed documentary will go head-to-head with “Hillary” (Hulu), “McMillion$” (HBO) and “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” (Netflix) for top honors in the category. Winners will be announced Sept. 20 in a live ABC broadcast with Jimmy Kimmel as host. 

Originally scheduled to air during the summer, production for the “The Last Dance” was moved up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the lack of live sporting events, ESPN capitalized on the 1990s nostalgia and the focus on Jordan, then arguably the most famous person in the world and at the height of his popularity. The premiere episode on April 17, according to ESPN, attracted more than 6 million viewers and the series attracted an average audience of about 12 million per episode when taking into account time-shifted and on-demand viewing.

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