or


[02/05/04 - 12:00 AM]
Game Over for ESPN's 'Playmakers'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- After months of rumors and speculation, ESPN made it official on Wednesday as the network announced "Playmakers" will not return for a second season.

"We have decided that 'Playmakers' will not resume production," Mark Shapiro, ESPN's executive VP of programming and production, said in a statement. "Many considerations went into to this decision, not the least of which was the reaction from a longtime and valued partner. We are proud of the show on many levels - it was a creative and critical success, and we are appreciative that viewers clearly embraced this new genre on our network... so much so that we are actively engaged in pursuing our next drama."

The news came as little surprise as ESPN has been hounded by the National Football League owners and officials of the NFL Players Assocation over the show's content. With such a negative reaction, ESPN executives apparently did not want to risk damaging their relationship with the NFL. The network is heading into the penultimate year of its contract with the NFL for its top-rated "Sunday Night Football" franchise, currently valued at $600 million a year.

"Playmakers" was nevertheless a major success for ESPN in terms of ratings. The series averaged a 1.9 household rating (1.65 million homes) for its 11-episode run, behind only said NFL games and its Saturday primetime college football coverage. ESPN officials said the network was approached by other cable channels to pick up the series, but opted not to in order avoid any further ire by the NFL. "['Playmakers'] is our series, and as a result it will not air elsewhere," ESPN's Josh Krulewitz told USA Today. Nevertheless, the network will continue with its plans to release the series on DVD come April (click here for details).

Despite the "Playmakers" experience, Shapiro said ESPN is still going forward with its scripted series development. He hopes to have one of the network's three projects currently in the hopper - Spike Lee's series version of "He Got Game," the college gambling drama "The Fix" and an untitled comedy from Tollin-Robbins Productions ("Ari$$") - on the air by the fall.

John Eisendrath and Orly Adelson were the executive producers of "Playmakers," an ESPN Original Entertainment production.





  [february 2004]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· ARLI$$ (HBO)
· FIX, THE (ESPN)
· HE GOT GAME (ESPN)
· PLAYMAKERS (ESPN)
· UNTITLED TOLLIN-ROBBINS PROJECT (ESPN)











[09/02/14 - 01:20 PM]
Netflix Orders Third Season of "Hemlock Grove"
Showrunner Charles H. (Chic) Eglee will return for the ten-episode final season which is slated to premiere on Netflix in 2015.

[09/02/14 - 01:20 PM]
"Houdini" Mesmerizies 3.7 Million Viewers
History spins the numbers for Monday, September 1.

[09/02/14 - 12:11 PM]
TNT Announces Restaurants Set to Participate in New Series "On the Menu," Premiering Friday, Oct. 3
Host Ty Pennington and legendary Chef Emeril Lagasse headline the series in which everyday cooks will vie for the chance to have their own dishes served in major restaurant chains across the country.

[09/02/14 - 11:02 AM]
Spike TV Presents a Compelling Inside Look at the Life of America's Greatest Daredevil, Evel Knievel
The 90-minute special will premiere on Spike TV Wednesday, September 10 at 11:00/10:00c.

[09/02/14 - 10:30 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: "MasterChef," "American Ninja Warrior" Top Demos
FOX and NBC both share the adults 18-49 crown last night.

[09/02/14 - 10:20 AM]
ABC Family Scares Up Some Fun During Its 16th Annual "13 Nights pf Halloween" Holiday Programming Event, Airing October 19th - 31st
The fright fest features brand-new Halloween-themed episodes of "Melissa & Joey" and "Baby Daddy," an all-new "Pretty Little Liars" fan appreciation special, plus the hilariously scary prank specials "Freak Out."

[09/02/14 - 09:59 AM]
Ted Gold Named Senior Vice President, Scripted Original Series, Spike TV
Gold previously served as President of Television and Executive Producer at Parkes+Macdonald/Universal Television, under an overall deal with NBCUniversal.

[09/02/14 - 09:08 AM]
Nickelodeon Teams Up with NFL, MLS and NASCAR for NickSports -- New Primetime Sports-Themed Block
The block will feature a rotating lineup of sports-themed content including series, specials and documentaries from leagues and key athletes, as well as acquired theatrical movies.

[09/02/14 - 08:36 AM]
Viriginia Beach Is Chosen as Final City on Nickelodeon's "Road to Worldwide Day of Play"
The network will spend three days in Virginia Beach (Sept. 10-12), encouraging kids to get active by bringing Nickelodeon-themed games, costumed characters and live-action stars to local events in the area.

[09/02/14 - 08:33 AM]
"Colin's Football Show" Opens Second Season with New Theme and Fresh Segments
The hour-long program will introduce new elements this year, including the debut of a fresh open, as well as the return of some of last season's most entertaining segments.

[09/02/14 - 07:50 AM]
"Terror at the Mall," A Harrowing Inside Look at the Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Debuts Sept. 15 on HBO
The film recalls the horror of the attack, as well as the courage and resilience of ordinary citizens in the face of mass murder.

[09/02/14 - 05:00 AM]
CBS's "The Talk" Kicks Off Season 5 Monday, Sept. 8!
In what promises to be their boldest premiere yet, the hosts will face their biggest fears, reveal intimate secrets and, for the first time, live-tweet during the show.

[09/01/14 - 10:01 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Viewers, Demos with "Big Brother"
The show's latest installment is the night's number one program among adults 18-49.

[09/01/14 - 10:00 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: "Saturday Night Football" Returns on Top for ABC
The Alphabet leads the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[09/01/14 - 09:53 AM]
"Dateline Saturday Night Mystery" Matches Its Top 18-49 Rating Since July 26
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, August 30 and Sunday, August 31.