SBD/April 15, 2014/Media

E:60 Special Highlights The Journeys Of Five Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors

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In honor of the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, ESPN tonight at 7:00pm ET will air "E:60 Presents Dream On: Stories from Boston's Strongest." The show highlights the journeys of strength, perseverance and courage for five different survivors of the bombings over the last 12 months. ESPN Exec Producer for "E:60" Andy Tennant called it "the most powerful hour of television that we have produced in the seven years we've been on the air." The show is hosted by ABC News' Bob Woodruff, while survivor vignettes are narrated by Patriots QB Tom Brady and actor Ben Affleck. There also is a special message from President Obama. ESPN execs within a month of the attacks began reaching out to victims to see who would be willing to share their journey. "We knew we wanted to follow people at every step on their road to recover," said Tennant. "For them to so graciously allow us the honor and privilege to tell their stories is something that I know myself and the producers on 'E:60' will never forget. It was an experience that went well beyond anything we could have anticipated at the beginning and we are forever grateful to them." ESPN had a list of around 30 survivors' stories at the start, before narrowing it down to the five who will be featured tonight -- Marc Fucarile; Aaron Hern; Karen McWatters; Carlos Arredondo and Joe Andruzzi; and Kris and Kayla Biagiotti. Tennant said some of the people ESPN reached out to "were reluctant to tell their stories at this point in time because they still felt an overwhelming amount of sadness and it was still incredibly fresh and emotional for them."

INITIALLY PLANNED FOR SIX-MONTH ANNIVERSARY: ESPN's original plan was to air the program as a six-month anniversary special, but Tennant said as execs were "looking at the particular stories that we were going to tell, we decided that it was much larger in scope and the message was much bigger so we decided to push it off until the one-year anniversary, and that takes us to where we are now." Another element that makes this "E:60" episode unique is an appearance from Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. The duo, along with the Southern California Children's Chorus, performs a new version of the band's hit "Dream On" that was specifically arranged for the show. Tennant called it an "anthem of hope for the city and its people." The full video for the song will air at the end of the episode, intermixed with images from the '13 marathon, the survivors' recovery journeys and more.
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