1. ITV Report

'Sunderland 'Til I Die' returns for second series

The docuseries was produced by Sunderland fans Leo Pearlman and Benjamin Turner. Credit: Fulwell73

It's the series Black Cats' fans have been waiting for. With the football season on pause, supporters can press play again with the much anticipated return of Sunderland 'Til I Die.

The first series detailed the Black Cats' miserable relegation from the Championship and things don't get any easier in the latest.

Series two on Netflix shows a surge of hope for the team in League One, before two crushing defeats at Wembley.

It focuses on new owner Stewart Donald and Executive Director Charlie Methven and their efforts to haul the club out of the third tier of the English Football League.

Filmed over a fifteen-month period, the 2018-19 season reaches a dramatic conclusion at Wembley Stadium with that last minute play-off final defeat by Charlton.

It makes painful viewing for Sunderland supporters and that includes the series' Executive Producers who are both lifelong fans. ITV Tyne Tees Sports Correspondent, Simon O'Rourke spoke to producer Leo Pearlman about what makes this series so different from the last:

After series one we couldn’t imagine another season of such heightened drama and yet the beautiful game once again gave us the incredible highs and devastating lows that no scripted series could ever provide. Sunderland remains the gift that keeps on giving and we couldn’t be more excited for fans of the first series to get to spend another 6 episodes with their favourite characters and the City of Sunderland. ''This remains a show that is deeply personal to all of us at Fulwell and we hope that viewers enjoy watching it as much as we feel privileged to have had the opportunity to make it.”

– Leo Pearlman, Executive Producer

The docuseries opens up the inner working of the famous organisation; from the board to the admin staff and the first team to the fans, an enduring image of passion and aspiration.

The programme makers once again secured exclusive behind-the-scenes access with the club’s board, manager, key players, staff and its unique fanbase.

The six-part was series produced by Richard Cooke (Last Man Standing, Extreme OCD Camp, Millionaire’s Gift Guide). The Executive Producers are Leo Pearlman and Benjamin Turner (Partners):

For years we’ve held our arms aloft at Sunderland AFC games and sang ‘we’re by far the greatest team the world has ever seen’. Series two confirms that whilst this may not be entirely true on the pitch, Sunderland AFC are in a league of their own as a subject for a documentary series.

''The focus this year is the unfolding drama of the new owners trying to meet the immense challenge they set themselves by buying the football club. The access they gave us provides the audience a front row seat for what is one hell of a ride.”

– Benjamin Turner, Executive Producer