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)





[07/23/14 - 06:07 PM]
Check Out the New Arsenal Costume on "Arrow"!
Roy Harper suits up as Arsenal this season, premiering Wednesday, October 8 at 8:00/7:00c on The CW.

[07/23/14 - 05:24 PM]
The CW Nixes "Seed," "Backpackers"; "Arrow" Repeats to Fill Monday Gap
As previously announced "America's Next Top Model" will assume the Monday, 9:00/8:00c beginning August 18.

[07/23/14 - 01:02 PM]
"Game of Thrones" Star Michelle Fairley Returns to TV in a Season-Long Arc on ABC's "Resurrection"
Fairley will recur as Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan.

[07/23/14 - 12:00 PM]
IDW Entertainment and UCP to Develop "Night Mary" as a Live-Action Series
John Pogue, who wrote and directed the recently released film, The Quiet Ones, has been tapped to write and direct the pilot.

[07/23/14 - 11:51 AM]
After Discovery's "Shark Week" Comes "Bark Week": A Week-Long Event Celebrating Man's Best Friend on the Hub Network, Starting August 17
The tail-wagging week will feature four popular series from Animal Planet: "America's Cutest," "It's Me or the Dog," "Bad Dog!" and "Too Cute!"

[07/23/14 - 11:45 AM]
TLC Unveils New Brand Campaign and Tagline
The multi-million dollar campaign - "Everyone needs a little TLC." - is rolling out across the country in key media outlets.

[07/23/14 - 11:45 AM]
Syfy Develops NCredible Improv - Executive Producers Nick Cannon and Michael Goldman to Create Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sketch Competition Series
The show will be taped in front of a live audience and feature two teams battling for the biggest laughs to win points and prizes.

[07/23/14 - 11:32 AM]
The Cycle 21 Premiere of "America's Next Top Model" Moves Up to August 18
Original episodes will air on Mondays for six weeks, with encores airing Fridays.

[07/23/14 - 10:54 AM]
USA Network and Wattpad Forge First of Its Kind Partnership to Release a Prequel to "Dig" in Advance of the Drama's Fall Premiere
The 12-part serialized prequel is written by the "Dig" writers and can be accessed via the Wattpad app, and on Wattpad.com.

[07/23/14 - 10:47 AM]
CBS Corporation and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Announce the "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Will Remain in New York
The agreement includes a commitment by CBS for approximately 200 New York-based jobs to support the daily program's year-round production schedule.

[07/23/14 - 10:22 AM]
"Thursday Night Football" Launches on Network Television with Primetime Special "Under the Lights" on Wednesday, Sept. 10 on CBS
The one-hour special will also encore on NFL Network the following Tuesday, September 16 at 10:00/9:00c.

[07/23/14 - 10:10 AM]
Syfy Unleashes a Category 5 Marketing Storm Behind "Sharknado 2: The Second One"
The Category 5 campaign will include a digital, social and in-store partnership with SUBWAY encompassing promotions at 26K locations nationwide.

[07/23/14 - 09:13 AM]
TV One Presents the Network Premiere Movie "Girlfriends' Getaway" on August 30 at 8PM/ET
Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn, Malinda Williams and Essence Atkins star in the project, which was shot entirely on location in Trinidad.

[07/23/14 - 09:10 AM]
"Daryl's Restoration Over-Hall" Series Premiere Rocks DIY Network's Ratings
DIY Network spins the numbers for Saturday, July 19.

[07/23/14 - 09:02 AM]
Fathom Events and NBC Sports Group Team Up to Bring Barclays Premier League 2014-15 Soccer Season to Select U.S. Cinemas
Americans will have the opportunity to see England's best in state-of-the-art projection and sound at select venues across the country on Saturdays throughout the Premier League season.