NFL Films’ ‘The Timeline’ Chronicles Defining Moments in NFL History


NFL Network Premieres New Original Series on Thursday, December 3 Following ‘Thursday Night Football’​

Six-Episode Series Features Collaborations With Some of the Biggest Names in Entertainment

To view the trailer for The Timeline, visit:

October 27, 2015: NFL Network presents a new documentary series The Timeline from NFL Films, the producers of NFL Network’s hit franchise A Football Life. The Timeline features six, hour-long episodes chronicling seminal moments that formed the NFL’s storied past, shape the present and, in some cases, set the stage for the future.

From NFL Films – winner of 121 Sports Emmy Awards – The Timeline premieres Thursday, December 3 on NFL Network following Thursday Night Football and partners with other storytellers with whom each moment examined resonates deeply. Among the storytelling collaborators for The Timeline are George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, Tim McGraw and Jeremy Renner. Pivotal moments that will be explored include the incredible role football played during the Iran Hostage Crisis, the merger between the National Football League and the American Football League, and the Giants’ landmark move from New York City to New Jersey.

Following the premiere on December 3, the remaining episodes will air on NFL Network throughout the month of December and into the new year.

Provided below is a list of each episode of The Timeline and when it airs on NFL Network:

  • Favre Returns (Thursday, December 3 Following Thursday Night Football) – For 16 seasons, Brett Favre was the favorite son of Green Bay, winning three consecutive MVP awards and making two trips to the Super Bowl. After signing with the rival Minnesota Vikings in 2009, Favre received a bit of a different reception from the Packers fans than he had grown accustomed to. Now, Favre returns to Lambeau Field, with NFL Films crews embedded with him throughout his trip, including a remarkable behind-the-scenes look at a truly unique sports event – Favre’s induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. Documentary crews also spent several days with Favre and his family at their home in Mississippi. Favre’s close friend, Tim McGraw, serves as co-producer, narrator and music contributor.
  • Jersey Guys (Tuesday, December 8 at 8:00 PM ET) – For a long time, the New York Giants’ identity was clear. They were Yankee Stadium, Frank Gifford and the Big Apple, through and through. But their glory days felt far away in the mid-60s, when the franchise was struggling at the same time the Super Bowl was launching pro football to new heights. A rebirth seemed within reach to the Giants, however, if only they moved a few rivers away. So the team made an announcement: they were relocating to a football-specific, 80,000-seat stadium in New Jersey. It was a long, painful process marked by fits and starts and glimmers of hope that always seemed to be snuffed out. Then the Giants hired Bill Parcells, a Jersey Guy to the core, who reshaped the team in his Garden State spirit. This film is about the seasons and games and how’s and why’s of the Giants’ unprecedented move out of New York. But it’s also about the spirit of the age in which the move happened, and how that spirit helped a football franchise enhance its own historic identity, when it captured and celebrated its first Super Bowl win.
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Tuesday, December 15 – Part 1 at 8:00 PM ET; Saturday, December 19 – Part 2 Following Thursday Night Football) – On the surface, no two cities could be more different than Dallas and San Francisco. But thanks to a unique football relationship that evolved over the course of three decades, they came to have much in common. In these two distinct locations, two football and cultural stories were being written simultaneously, until one day they would be so intertwined as to produce a third narrative: the tale of the greatest NFL rivalry of the Super Bowl era, a tale of two cities. Each episode of this two-part film will bring the audience into the cultural and social journeys of Dallas and San Francisco that unfolded in the background of their football teams’ growth into two of sports most iconic franchises. Two-time Academy Award nominee and 49ers fan Jeremy Renner collaborates.
  • The Merger (Thursday, December 24 Following Thursday Night Football) – The riveting story of the unprecedented merger between the well-established National Football League and the upstart American Football League, giving birth to the modern-day NFL. The merger also created the uniquely American spectacle called the Super Bowl, which transformed sports and culture in America. This story is a message for today: When you put aside ideology and self-interest for compromise and collaboration, you can achieve something great. This story is told by James Brown (CBS), Jeremy Schaap (ESPN), Melissa Stark, Jeffri Chadiha and Mark Kriegel (NFL Media), and hosted by NFL Network’s Rich Eisen.
  • America’s Game and the Iran Hostage Crisis (Saturday, December 26 Following Thursday Night Football) – On January 20, 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams take the field at the Rose Bowl for Super Bowl XIV. An enterprising Los Angeles reporter makes a long-distance telephone call from a Tehran hotel to a radio station engineer in Los Angeles, and over the phone makes a crude audio-cassette recording of Super Bowl XIV which he plans to smuggle into the Tehran embassy into the hearts and minds of those who need it the most. Three weeks after the game is played, Pittsburgh’s 31-19 win echoes from a tiny cassette player on the floor of a dingy embassy cell. The recording and its connections to home will be heard by a small cadre of grateful Americans and buoy them through the nightmarish days ahead. This film ultimately builds to Super Bowl XV in New Orleans, which celebrated the hostages’ release before a jubilant nation, symbolized by the giant yellow ribbon gracing the Superdome. The Academy Award-winning producers of ARGO, Smokehouse Pictures (George Clooney and Grant Heslov), co-produce the episode, and actor/director Tate Donovan, who played U.S. embassy escapee Robert Anders in ARGO, directs.

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