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)





[10/21/20 - 07:36 AM]
Some Nightmares are Real... Season Two of the HLN Original Series "Real Life Nightmare" Returns Sunday, November 8
Featured in the series is never-before-seen evidence plus a call-to-action that provides viewers an opportunity to be part of the investigation.

[10/21/20 - 07:31 AM]
Video: "The Life Ahead" - Official Trailer - Netflix
"The Life Ahead" starring Sophia Loren and Ibrahima Gueye arrives on Netflix on November 13.

[10/21/20 - 07:11 AM]
Video: "Animaniacs" (Official) Trailer - A Hulu Original
22 years of pent-up zaniness coming your way!

[10/21/20 - 07:05 AM]
Video: Season 7 of "Braxton Family Values" Premieres Thursday, November 5 at 9PM ET/PT on WE tv
Following a year of love and loss, can the Braxtons come together and find their harmony once again?

[10/21/20 - 06:01 AM]
Video: "Mank" - Official Trailer - Netflix
Starring Academy Award Winner Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard, Tom Pelphrey, Sam Troughton, Ferdinand Kingsley, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke, and Charles Dance.

[10/20/20 - 04:01 PM]
Video: "Aunty Donna's Big Ol' House of Fun" - Official Trailer - Netflix
Australian comedy group Aunty Donna star in this hybrid of narrative and sketch comedy about three roommates making their way through an absurdist world.

[10/20/20 - 03:00 PM]
This January, FOX Brings the Drama with All-New Seasons of "9-1-1," "9-1-1: Lone Star," "The Resident" and "Prodigal Son"
"9-1-1" and "9-1-1: Lone Star" will air back-to-back on Mondays; while "Prodigal Son" is moving to Tuesdays following "The Resident."

[10/20/20 - 01:10 PM]
Netflix Reveals Stats and Facts About Its Top Movies in the Last Few Months
"Enola Holmes" (76 million), "American Murder: The Family Next Door" (52 million), "The Old Guard" (78 million), "Project Power" (75 million) and "The Kissing Booth 2" (66 million) are among the mentioned audiences.

[10/20/20 - 11:32 AM]
"OWN Spotlight: Black Women OWN The Conversation - Vote!" Premieres Tonight at 9p ET/PT
Special guests include Yvette Nicole Brown, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Valerie Jarrett, Tina Knowles Lawson, and Nneka Ogwumike.

[10/20/20 - 11:30 AM]
Bravo Greenlights Culinary Competition Show "Top Chef Amateurs"
Hosted by Gail Simmons and produced by Magical Elves, Bravo's newest culinary competition series gives talented home cooks the opportunity of lifetime to test their skills in the illustrious "Top Chef" kitchen.

[10/20/20 - 11:01 AM]
CMT Megahit "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team" Returns for Landmark Season 15 on Tuesday, November 24th at 10PM ET/PT
Additionally, the series premiere will simulcast on sister network MTV.

[10/20/20 - 11:00 AM]
Jon M. Chu to Direct Lucasfilm's "Willow" Series for Disney+ with Warwick Davis and Ron Howard Returning
Howard, director of the original "Willow" film, returns as executive producer on the series with Bob Dolman, writer of the original film, serving as consulting producer.

[10/20/20 - 10:59 AM]
HBO Orders Limited Series "The Son"
The limited series will star and be executive produced by Nine Stories' Jake Gyllenhaal.

[10/20/20 - 10:13 AM]
It's a Miracle! "Fleabag's" Andrew Scott Narrates BBC America's "Earth's Great Seasons"
Each episode explores how animals and plants rise to the challenges of the natural world throughout the year.

[10/20/20 - 10:06 AM]
Jamie Foxx to Executive Produce and Star in "Day Shift" for Netflix
Foxx stars as a hard working blue collar dad who just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted 8-year old daughter, but his mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires.