The Bronx Is Burning

The Bronx Is Burning (stylized as The Bronx is Burning) is a television drama that debuted on ESPN on July 10, 2007, after the 2007 MLB Home Run Derby. It is an eight-episode mini-series adapted from Jonathan Mahler's best-selling book, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning. The book focuses on baseball's triumph over the turmoil and hysteria of 1977 New York City and how the New York Yankees came to embody the hopes and fears of an unforgettable summer with Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson's warfare under George Steinbrenner's leadership.

The Bronx Is Burning
Created byJonathan Mahler
Directed byJeremiah Chechik
StarringJohn Turturro
Oliver Platt
Daniel Sunjata
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes8
Executive producersMike Tollin
Brian Robbins
Joe Davola
Running time60 minutes
Original networkESPN
Original releaseJuly 10 (2007-07-10) 
August 28, 2007 (2007-08-28)

The show stars Daniel Sunjata, Oliver Platt, and John Turturro, while executive producers Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Joe Davola, writer and executive producer James Solomon, and director Jeremiah Chechik work on the show. The series is produced by ESPN Original Entertainment in conjunction with Tollin/Robbins Productions. Filming began on September 18, 2006, in Connecticut and New York. The 2007 debut of the series marked the 30th anniversary of the 1977 World Series win for the Yankees, the first under Steinbrenner. After airing on ESPN, the episodes were placed on ABC on Demand.[1]


The central theme of the adaptation is the 1977 New York Yankees against the backdrop of New York City.[2] Yankee superstar Reggie Jackson (Daniel Sunjata) and manager Billy Martin (John Turturro) are locked in a perpetual state of warfare. Jackson was a perfect foil for the scrappy Martin, a popular former Yankee player and reminder of the less complicated past of the team and the city. While owner George Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) was an autocratic boss, he was also intent on keeping his promise to delivering a World Series title.[3]

The show also features subplots concerning the New York City Police Department's pursuit of the Son of Sam serial killer that year and the blackout and resultant widespread looting in July, all while the city suffered through financial bankruptcy and massive municipal layoffs.[4] Another subplot focused on the 1977 New York City mayoral election featuring incumbent mayor Abraham Beame, former U.S. Representative Bella Abzug, future Governor Mario Cuomo, and Congressman Ed Koch, the eventual winner.[3]

The title refers to an off-the-cuff comment allegedly made by broadcaster Howard Cosell during the ABC telecast of Game Two of the 1977 World Series.[5]

Episodes were filmed in New London, Waterford and Norwich in Connecticut as well as in New York City. New London stood in for New York City and Dodd Stadium in Norwich stood in for Yankee Stadium.[6] The series' soundtrack consisted of songs by The Ramones.


No. # Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"The Straw"Jeremiah S. ChechikHarley Peyton and Jonathan MahlerJuly 10, 2007 (2007-07-10)
The year is 1977. The New York Yankees are coming off their embarrassing loss to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1976 World Series. The Son of Sam has killed his first victim. Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner and manager Billy Martin discuss which free agent to sign, settling on Reggie Jackson. As spring training begins, Martin and Steinbrenner argue.
22"Team in Turmoil"Jeremiah S. ChechikGordon Greisman, Michael Lucas, and James D. SolomonJuly 17, 2007 (2007-07-17)
The 1977 season has begun, but the Yankees struggle. Tensions rise between Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson. Meanwhile, the NYPD creates the Omega Task Force to capture the ".44 caliber killer". Also, the election for mayor of New York is heating up. Incumbent mayor Abraham Beame is challenged by Representative Ed Koch, New York Secretary of State Mario Cuomo, and feminist activist Bella Abzug for the Democratic nomination.
33"Time for a Change?"Jeremiah S. ChechikKyle Harimoto, Michael Lucas, and James D. SolomonJuly 24, 2007 (2007-07-24)
During a nationally televised game, Jackson fails to hustle after a ball, setting up a fight in the dugout with Martin. Steinbrenner decides to fire Martin, but is convinced by his players not to do so. The press continues to investigate the Son of Sam. Abzug takes the lead in the mayoral race.
44"The Seven Commandments"Jeremiah S. ChechikGordon Greisman and James D. SolomonJuly 31, 2007 (2007-07-31)
Munson publicizes his discontent with the team in the press. A major blackout covers the city in darkness. Martin and Steinbrenner make a deal regarding Jackson, but he breaks the terms, leading Gabe Paul to ask Dick Howser if he would take over. The NYPD picks up the search as the anniversary of the Son of Sam's first murder approaches.
55"Caught!"Jeremiah S. ChechikGordon Greisman, James D. Solomon, and Jim SterlingAugust 1, 2007 (2007-08-01)
With Jackson batting cleanup, the Yankees go on a hot streak. Following a new lead, the Omega Task Force closes in on the Son of Sam, making the arrest.
66"The Game's Not as Easy as It Looks, Fellas"Jeremiah S. ChechikNick Davis and Gordon GreismanAugust 8, 2007 (2007-08-08)
Ed Koch wins the Democratic primary in the mayoral election, and the Yankees win the division. This emboldens Martin to ask for a contract extension, a request Steinbrenner declines. The Yankees face the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS. Jackson's struggles lead Martin to bench him.
77"Past Combatants"Jeremiah S. ChechikGordon Greisman, James D. Solomon, and Jonathan MahlerAugust 15, 2007 (2007-08-15)
The Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers face off in the World Series. Steinbrenner makes a decision about Martin's future.
88"Mr. October"Jeremiah S. ChechikMichael Lucas and James D. SolomonAugust 22, 2007 (2007-08-22)
Jackson makes history in Game 6 of the World Series.



  1. "REEL DEAL; Staff writer Bob Asmussen's review of ESPN's "The Bronx is Burning"". News Gazette. July 9, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  2. "'The Bronx is Burning' ESPN: [All Edition]". Bangor Daily News. July 9, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  3. "ESPN's 'Bronx is Burning' is a solid hit". Orange County Register. July 9, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  4. Poniewozik, James (2007-07-09). "Miniseries, Mini Review: The Bronx Is Burning". Time. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  5. "Why the Bronx burned". New York Post. 16 May 2010.
  6. "Bronx Bombers Miniseries Now Filming In Nutmeg State". Hartford Courant. 2006-09-20. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
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