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New docuseries coming to NFL Network; Undrafted to premiere on CBS

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NFL Network is giving football fans more of the sport they love. Two new docuseries are coming to the sports network, further expanding this season’s original programming. One of the series will reportedly be league-centric, according to THR, while the other will focus on small-town high school football. Meanwhile, NFL Network will bring back Undrafted for a second season, premiering on CBS.

As a way to entice fans into checking out more of its programming, it seems, NFL Network has decided to air the season 2 premiere of Undrafted — its most widely viewed original show — on CBS on Sept. 16. It’s a smart ploy, especially because the rest of the season will then air on NFL Network. Those who get hooked might find themselves adding the channel if they don’t have it already.

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For new shows, up first will be an eight-episode docuseries set to debut on Sept. 17. No title has been announced so far, but the working title is Northern Lights, which is fitting considering that the inaugural season will center on a team based in Alaska. The Barrow High School Whalers live in an area so remote that they must travel at least 500 miles by plane for all of their away games.

“It struck a chord in several departments, because it’s a positive portrayal of youth,” said NFL Media VP of Programming Ron Samiao. He shared that the series could span several years by focusing on other towns and “even revisiting the Whalers” down the road.

In October, the second new docuseries will be announced. Sources tell THR that it will be similar to A Football Life, a series now in its fifth season. Instead of profiling players, however, it is expected to look at coaches, events, and issues relevant to the league.

On top of the two new docuseries, NFL Network will also air a one-hour special called Do Your Job: Bill Belichick and the 2014 Patriots. Seahawks fans may want to skip this one, as it will examine the Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning season, including the unexpected final play in the year’s biggest game. Interviews with coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft are also included.

Adding more original content seems like a no-brainer after the success of A Football Life. NFL Network has upped its original content substantially over the last few years, and the new additions bring the amount of unscripted and documentary programming to 31 hours this upcoming season — a new high. As Semiao put it, “We saw the success with A Football Life and have dipped our toe in more.”

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