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)





[09/25/17 - 12:06 PM]
Live Musical Production of Tony Award-, Grammy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Musical "Rent" to Air Sunday, January 27, 2019, on FOX
After winning four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson's tour de force celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, as it continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship.

[09/25/17 - 12:05 PM]
Emmy(R)-Nominated Sketch Comedy Series "Tracey Ullman's Show" Returns for Second Season Oct. 20 on HBO
Over the course of the new season, Ullman uses her signature brand of sharp satire to shape-shift into a range of public figures and offbeat original characters.

[09/25/17 - 11:10 AM]
Freeform Orders a Pilot Spinoff "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists," From Warner Horizon Scripted Television
Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish will reprise their roles from the parent series.

[09/25/17 - 11:06 AM]
History(R)'s New Scripted Drama Series "Knightfall" Delving Into the Mysterious World of the Knights Templar Premieres Wednesday, December 6 at 10 PM ET/PT
"Knightfall" begins after the fall of the city of Acre, the Templar's last stronghold in the Holy Land, where the Holy Grail is lost.

[09/25/17 - 10:30 AM]
Contractor Mike Holmes and His Family Help Homeowners on New DIY Network Series "Holmes: Next Generation"
The six-episode series is scheduled to premiere in March 2018.

[09/25/17 - 10:03 AM]
"The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee," An Intimate Documentary Portrait, Debuts Dec. 4 on HBO
Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee was largely credited with taking down President Richard Nixon in 1974 after the Post broke the Watergate story, exposing the largest political scandal in American history.

[09/25/17 - 10:01 AM]
Sanaa Lathan Joins Showtime(R) Drama Series "The Affair"
She'll recur as Jenelle, the tough-as-nails principal of the charter school where Noah (Dominic West) teaches, who intrigues him.

[09/25/17 - 09:51 AM]
FX+ Expands Content and Launches on Cox
FX+, a new commercial-free service featuring all seasons of almost every current and library title of FX original series, has added all seasons of 15 additional FX original series.

[09/25/17 - 09:31 AM]
Nickelodeon's Brand-New "SpongeBob SquarePants" Halloween Stop-Motion Animation Special: "The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom" Premieres Friday, Oct. 13, at 7:00 P.M. (ET/PT)
The special tells the story of the Flying Dutchman (Brian Doyle-Murray) coming to Bikini Bottom to make sure everyone in town is scared - especially SpongeBob, who seems to be unflappable in his belief that spooky things are actually funny.

[09/25/17 - 08:32 AM]
Sunday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC, "Sunday Night Football" Top Competition
The Peacock once again leads the night in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[09/25/17 - 08:11 AM]
Paramount Network Announces Launch Date and Logo
The network will officially debut on Thursday, January 18 at 9:00/8:00c with a live one-hour episode of "Lip Sync Battle" emanating from the Paramount lot in Hollywood.

[09/25/17 - 08:03 AM]
SundanceTV Starts Production on the Third Season of Its Critically-Acclaimed Series "Hap and Leonard"
The six-part drama, returning to SundanceTV in early 2018, takes inspiration from "The Two-Bear Mambo," the third installment of Joe R. Lansdale's popular book series.

[09/25/17 - 07:34 AM]
Video: Netflix Debuts New Trailer for the Film "First They Killed My Father"
Directed by Angelina Jolie, the film is the adaptation of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung's gripping memoir of surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1978.

[09/25/17 - 07:25 AM]
CBS Sports' Coverage of NFL for Week 3 Up +4% Over 2016
CBS spins the numbers for Sunday, September 24.

[09/25/17 - 06:03 AM]
Renowned Television Creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino Sign Multi-Year Overall Deal with Amazon Studios
Sherman-Palladino and Palladino will develop television projects that will add to their unprecedented two-season greenlight of upcoming Amazon Original Series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which debuts this fall on Prime Video.