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)





[09/29/16 - 01:47 PM]
Actress Monica Potter Renovates Her Childhood Home in New HGTV Series "Welcome Back Potter"
Premiering on Tuesday, October 11, the series follows Monica, her mom, Nancy, and three outspoken sisters, Jessica, Brigette and Kerry, as they tackle the massive whole-home renovation.

[09/29/16 - 01:10 PM]
ABC Gives Full-Season Orders to "Designated Survivor" and "Speechless"
Nine additional episodes of both series, from Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios, and The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios respectively, have been ordered.

[09/29/16 - 12:01 PM]
Jared Harris Boards AMC's Scripted Anthology "The Terror"
Additional casting includes Ciaran Hinds as Sir John Franklin; Paul Ready as Henry Goodsir; and Adam Nagaitis as Cornelius Hickey.

[09/29/16 - 11:47 AM]
Video: Superhero Fight Club 2.0 Sneak Peek
Check out the heroes of The CW's DC Comics-based TV series.

[09/29/16 - 10:49 AM]
Global Superpowers Stand Off in American Heroes Channel's All-New Series "Cold War Armaggedon"
Premiering Wednesday, October 12, the new eight-part series transports viewers back forty years as the horrors of World War II ended, and a new kind of war began.

[09/29/16 - 08:47 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: FOX Tops Charts with "Empire"
ABC's "Designated Survivor" however is the only series to post year-to-year gains for its network.

[09/29/16 - 08:30 AM]
Freeform Acquires All Five Seasons of "The Mindy Project" - Series Begins Airing on Monday, October 3
Episodes will also be available on the Freeform App on October 3 and will refresh weekly.

[09/29/16 - 08:00 AM]
Season Three of E!'s Scandalous Scripted Drama Series "The Royals" Premieres Sunday, December 4 at 10PM ET/PT
New faces joining the cast this season include series regular Max Brown, reoccurring guest star Jules Knight and guest star Damian Hurley.

[09/29/16 - 07:35 AM]
Logo Breaks Records with Highest Rated Thursday in Network History
Logo further spins the numbers for Thursday, September 22.

[09/29/16 - 07:01 AM]
Sandra Oh Set to Guest Star in a Multi-Episode Arc on the Third Season of ABC's "American Crime"
Set in Alamance County, North Carolina, Oh will play Abby Tanaka, a social worker who runs a local shelter dedicated to housing victims of domestic abuse in the face of community indifference.

[09/29/16 - 06:31 AM]
ABC Announces October Slate for the ABC App, Including First Seasons of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," and Two New ABCd Comedies
The network is also introducing two new ABCd original short-form comedies, "Broken" and "Serious Music."

[09/28/16 - 02:03 PM]
VH1 and Freeform Acquire All Five Seasons of "The Mindy Project" from NBCUniversal's Universal Television
The show will begin airing on both networks in October and episodes will also be available on the VH1 and Freeform apps.

[09/28/16 - 02:02 PM]
Universal Cable Productions Signs Development Deal with Alfred Hitchcock Estate
"Welcome to Hitchcock" is a new original anthology series will focus on a single season-long mystery or crime in the spirit of the classic Hitchcock style and legacy.

[09/28/16 - 02:00 PM]
"You're the Worst" Picked Up for Fourth Season on FXX
"Expertly written, brilliantly acted, 'You're the Worst' continues to be hilarious and excellent," said Eric Schrier.

[09/28/16 - 01:03 PM]
Bravo Media Serves Up a Double Dose of Sass as "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" and "Married to Medicine" Return on Sunday, November 6
Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Phaedra Parks, Porsha Williams and Shereè Whitfield are all due back on the former series.