ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Online Add New Series

By Alex Weprin 

SportsNewser was in attendance at ESPN’s annual upfront presentation in New York, as ESPN unveiled a slate of new programming for ESPN2, the Spanish-language ESPN Deportes and for the network’s digital properties.

The centerpiece was a new afternoon lineup for ESPN2. The channel will add two new half-hour programs in “Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable,” hosted by Miami-based sports columnist Dan Le Batard, as well as “Numbers Don’t Lie,” which is designed to appear to fantasy players and stat freaks by looking at the sports stories of the day in a new way.

“Numbers Don’t Lie” will run at 3:30 PM, with Le Batard’s program airing at 4 PM. To make way for the new shows, “SportsNation,” which has become ESPN2’s signature show, will move to 5 PM.

Following up on the launch of its women-centric website ESPNw, ESPN is launching a series of short films called HERoics, about women and their contributions to the sport of soccer. The films will air on ESPN and ABC leading up to and during the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is being held this Summer in Germany. “SportsCenter” anchor Hannah Storm produced and directed one of the films.

ESPN’s Spanish-language network ESPN Deportes is also launching two new series: its own version of the newsmagazine “E:60” as well as its first original scripted series, “El Diez.” The 10-part scripted show will follow a soccer star who heads to Mexico City in search of glory.

ESPN also has three new films to debut starting in October, and will expand “NFL Live” to one-hour in the Fall… assuming the NFL is playing.

On the digital front, Kenny Mayne will launch a new digital series, “Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports,” which has Mayne traveling the globe to learn about and play sports from across the globe. Executives also touted Grantland, Bill Simmons’ upcoming website

Much more from ESPN’s upfront throughout the day on SportsNewser.