With the World Cup set to kick off in June, ESPN has created a barrage of programming surrounding the massive global event, including its newest offshoot of its “30 for 30” documentary series dubbed “Soccer Stories.” One film in the collection is “The Opposition,” a look at the role politics played in a 1973 World Cup qualifier match between the Soviet Union and Chile during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. Here is director Jeffrey Plunkett on the project's genesis and the challenges of covering a contentious topic in history. How did this project come about with ESPN? I initially started a documentary about [former U.S. Men's National Team coach] Bob Bradley, who took the Egypt [coaching] job during a pretty hectic time over [there]. I went over and shot with Bob and the Egyptian team during the World Cup qualifier in the summer of 2011. I just couldn't find the right outlet for it and the right funding, but in the course of talking to people, including ESPN, I got wind that they were doing these soccer stories in advance of the World Cup. What brought you to the particular topic in The Opposition? A book by a British academic by the name of David Goldblatt, called The Ball is Round. It's specifically looking at interesting moments and critical moments in soccer's history. He spends a couple pages on this episode… and mentions the National Stadium and that it was turned into a prison–and the absurdity of the last qualifier when the Soviets boycott. When did you know it could be a doc? I went on YouTube and decided to start pecking around and realized there's actually a ton of footage from the stadium as a prison–and also from the final qualifier, when the Chilean team plays against no one and has this absurd moment–certainly one of a kind in the history of soccer. [For the full Q&A see Cablefax.com]Kaylee Hultgren

“Orphan Black,” season 2 debut, Sat, 9p, BBC A. Many network press kits include a note urging critics to avoid leaking details about upcoming series. “Orphan Black” creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett raised the stakes, appealing on screen at the start of 2 review discs sent to critics. In fairness, the duo has greatly expanded the clone-based series, risking tweaking an already successful show. Our view is the complexities help the series. And with the fabulous Tatiana Maslany back as Sarah, Rachel, Alison and… you get the idea, Orphan still sizzles. — “A Day Late and A Dollar Short,” Sat, 8p, Lifetime. Much is lost when a 480-page best-seller is condensed into a 2-hr film. The viewer is forced to accept much without seeing evidence, which is provided as narrative in the novel by Terry McMillan. What drove Viola ( Whoopi Goldberg) and Cecil's ( Ving Rhames) marriage into the ground, for example? Still, Goldberg, Rhames, Mekhi Phifer, Anika Noni Rose and Tichina Arnold have enough presence to keep viewers watching this tale of a family dealing with a great deal of drama, one of Lifetime's stronger originals. — ” Billy Crystal 700 Sundays,” Sat, 9p, HBO. Taping Crystal's Broadway hit works beautifully on TV as he provides a master class in storytelling, relating his life with much humor. – Seth Arenstein

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