or


[12/14/04 - 12:00 AM]
'Playmakers' May Live on as Part of Midway's 'Blitz'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- ESPN may have dropped the "Playmakers" ball, but videogame company Midway may be picking it up as the company confirmed on Monday its plans for "Blitz: Playmakers," the latest entry in its over-the-top football franchise.

"Enough of the 'No Fun League'... it's now time to talk about and prepare for the game the NFL wouldn't let anyone make... Blitz the way it should be played," a company spokesman told gaming portal IGN Sports.

While full details about the project weren't released, the game will share more than just the namesake of the defunct cable drama - one of the "Playmakers" writers has been hired to develop the game.

Despite said developments, neither Midway nor ESPN has confirmed any connection between the ESPN series and the Midway game.

The news comes on the same day Electronic Arts, makers of the "Madden" juggernaut, announced its exclusive five-year licensing agreement with the NFL. Said pact means that Midway (or fellow football developers ESPN, 989, and Microsoft) will no longer feature the NFL teams, stadiums, and players in its football video games. The decision also puts Midway, whose "Blitz: Playmakers" is the first post-NFL game to be confirmed, several steps ahead of its non-EA competition in terms of developing its own football brand.

And with ESPN's "Playmakers" literally being the series the NFL didn't want viewers to see, any assocation would extend that brand even further. The 11-episode drama drew the wrath of both the National Football League owners and officials of the NFL Players Assocation as each objected to the show's content.

Not wanting to risk damaging their relationship with the NFL, ESPN went ahead and gave "Playmakers" the hook back in February despite having two of television's most valued commodities: healthy ratings and critical acclaim. Mark Shapiro, ESPN's executive VP of programming and production, wasn't even shy about the network's motivations when the news broke: "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."

ESPN was then reportedly approached by several other cable channels about picking up the series but opted not to continue production 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 at the time.

Whether Midway's "Blitz: Playmakers," which would undoubtedly build on the viewers that felt betrayed by ESPN's decision to axe the series, marks a reversal of said decision remains to be seen.

Click here to read IGN Sports' coverage of this story.





  [december 2004]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
   


· PLAYMAKERS (ESPN)





[11/19/17 - 08:30 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC, College Football Edge Demo Race
The Alphabet tops adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched broadcaster.

[11/18/17 - 08:32 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Charts in Viewers, Demos
The Eye takes home top honors in both categories last night.

[11/17/17 - 03:31 PM]
CBS Orders More Episodes of "S.W.A.T." & "9JKL"
The Eye has given a full season order to new drama series "S.W.A.T." and has picked up three additional episodes of new comedy "9JKL."

[11/17/17 - 02:26 PM]
Panelists Named on New Music Competition Series "The Four: Battle for Stardom," Premiering Thursday, Jan. 4 on FOX
Grammy(R) Award-winning musician, record producer and songwriter Sean "Diddy" Combs, record-producing hitmaker DJ Khaled, Grammy-winning recording artist and songwriter Meghan Trainor and record label executive Charlie Walk have joined the panel of experts.

[11/17/17 - 11:22 AM]
Jenji Kohan Inks Multi-Year Deal with Netflix
Said Kohan, "Current climate aside, it's great to be in bed with Netflix."

[11/17/17 - 09:02 AM]
Video: "Dave Chappelle: Equanimity" - New Stand-Up Special Teaser - Netflix
Dave Chappelle's brand new stand-up special premieres December 31 on Netflix.

[11/17/17 - 08:38 AM]
Video: "Easy" Season 2 Returns to Netflix December 1 - Watch the New Trailer
Aubrey Plaza, Dave Franco, Aya Cash, Judy Greer, Kate Berlant, Joe Lo Truglio, Zazie Beetz, Elizabeth Reaser, Kate Micucci, Michael Chernus, Jane Adams, Jacqueline Toboni, Evan Jonigkeit, Marz Timms, and Kiersey Clemons star in the upcoming season.

[11/17/17 - 08:15 AM]
Comedy Central Announces Talent Lineup for All-New Slate of "Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents..." Half-Hour Specials
The new season will tape on December 8 and 9 at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans and include performances by Emmy Blotnick, Tim Dillon, Devin Field, Megan Gailey, Chris Garcia, Langston Kerman, Mike Lawrence, Ryan O'Flanagan, and Sarah Tiana.

[11/17/17 - 08:13 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "Thursday Night Football" Rises in NBC Victory
The Peacock takes home top honors in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[11/17/17 - 08:00 AM]
Our Fourth Season Has a Third Wheel... "Grace and Frankie" Are Back January 19th!
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are joined by Lisa Kudrow in the new season.

[11/17/17 - 06:58 AM]
Netflix and Red Chillies Entertainment Announce A New Original Series Based on "Bard of Blood"
Penned by the young Indian author, Bilal Siddiqi the book will be brought to life as an eight-episode high-octane political espionage thriller series for more than 109 million members around the world.

[11/16/17 - 11:28 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, November 16
Updates include: TV Land cancels "Lopez," "Throwing Shade"; Rachel Bilson, Eddie Cibrian to lead "Take Two" at ABC; and Vicki Lawrence among quartet cast in FOX's "Cool Kids."

[11/16/17 - 02:42 PM]
VH1 Celebrates the Season with "Remy & Papoose: A Merry Mackie Holiday"
The one-hour special invites viewers to kick off the holiday season with Remy Ma and Papoose from VH1's "Love & Hip Hop: New York" as they prepare the ultimate holiday party for their friends and family in North Carolina.

[11/16/17 - 02:35 PM]
NBC Sets Midseason Premiere Dates for New Dramas "Good Girls" and "Rise"
They'll follow the spring premiere of "The Voice" and the season finale of "This Is Us," respectively.

[11/16/17 - 01:27 PM]
Bravo Media's "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Returns Tuesday, December 19 at 9PM ET/PT
Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, and Lisa Vanderpump are joined by new housewife Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave and friend Camille Grammer.