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)





[07/27/14 - 09:35 AM]
Video: Watch the Video of the Cast at the "Sleepy Hollow" Fan Experience
Nicole Beharie, Tom Mison, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter and Lyndie Greenwood talk about season two at the "Sleepy Hollow" Haunted Barn.

[07/26/14 - 10:47 PM]
Video: "Constantine" Preview Trailer
This hot new trailer was unveiled on Saturday, July 26.

[07/26/14 - 10:46 PM]
Video: New Warner Bros. Television & DC Comics Logos
Check out the cards for "The Flash," "Constantine," "Gotham" and "Arrow."

[07/26/14 - 10:45 PM]
Video: "Arrow" Season 3 Preview - with Ra's al Ghul!
Watch the newly extended first look at the new season!

[07/26/14 - 07:34 PM]
Video: "Person of Interest" Season 3 Highlight Reel and Season 4 Sneak Peek
Check out the sizzle reel from today's panel, including a first look at season four!

[07/26/14 - 07:33 PM]
Video: "Constantine" Bear McCreary Scoring Video
Highly acclaimed composer and Comic-Con favorite Bear McCreary scored the pilot episode and will also be the composer for the series.

[07/26/14 - 04:59 PM]
FOX Invites Fans to Create Their Own "Gotham" Origin-al Fan Posters or Cinematic Trailers
Fans should visit fox.com/gothamcontest to full details and to submit.

[07/26/14 - 04:24 PM]
Video: Comic-Con 2014 - "The Simpsons" Panel Highlights
Plus: get your first look at the season premiere episode, "Clown in the Dumps."

[07/26/14 - 01:32 PM]
Video: Starz Releases Opening Title Sequence from "Outlander" Debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con World Premiere
The opening showcases never-before-seen footage from the series, along with an arrangement of the "Skye Boat Song" by composer Bear McCreary featuring the vocals of Raya Yarbrough.

[07/26/14 - 11:30 AM]
Disney XD Orders Second Season of Hit Animated Series "Marvel's Avengers Assemble" and "Marvel's Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H."
Both series are in production and slated to premiere this fall on Marvel Universe on Disney XD.

[07/26/14 - 09:52 AM]
Video: Comic-Con 2014 - "Sleepy Hollow" Panel Highlights
The cast of "Sleepy Hollow" all say what they would like to see happen in season two during the panel at Comic-Con.

[07/26/14 - 09:51 AM]
Video: Comic-Con 2014 - "Bob's Burgers" Panel Highlights
Is Louise ready for love? Would you eat at Bob's Burgers if it were a real restaurant? The fans ask the tough questions of the Bob's cast.

[07/26/14 - 09:50 AM]
Video: Comic-Con 2014 - "Wayward Pines" Panel Highlights
Executive Producer M. Night Shyamalan and star Matt Dillon share stories about FOX's intense new event series.

[07/26/14 - 09:49 AM]
Video: Comic-Con 2014 - "Bones" Panel Highlights
Join David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel as they tease the upcoming tenth season and Emily's upcoming directorial debut.

[07/25/14 - 07:06 PM]
Video: "The Originals" Season 2 First Look Video
After a fairytale recap, fans were treated to one mother of a first look at the upcoming second season to kick off the panel.