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 - 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 - 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.

[09/24/17 - 08:01 PM]
"Star Trek: Discovery" Beams CBS All Access to Its Highest Sign-Up Day Ever
All new episodes will be available on demand weekly after 8:30 PM, ET on Sundays exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers in the U.S.

[09/24/17 - 11:02 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Continues College Football Reign
The Alphabet wins the night among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[09/24/17 - 10:12 AM]
Video: Sneak Peek of the Main Titles for "Star Trek: Discovery"
The newest edition of the Star Trek franchise premieres tonight in the U.S. on CBS All Access.

[09/23/17 - 08:34 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Claims Demo Crown with "Dateline"
The Peacock tops the evening among adults 18-49 while CBS is the most-watched broadcaster.

[09/22/17 - 11:29 PM]
Development Update: Friday, September 22
Updates include: USA, Oxygen land off-network rights to "Chicago PD"; Amazon's "Carnival Row" adds quartet; and Russell Tovey to star in "Freedom Fighters: The Ray."

[09/22/17 - 01:09 PM]
TLC's Franchise Original "90 Day Fiance" Returns for Season 5 with New Couples and Outrageous International Love Stories
Couples spread across the globe begin the tumultuous and challenging journey to the altar in the brand-new season, premiering on Sunday, October 8.

[09/22/17 - 12:31 PM]
"Crisis on Earth-X" - Your First Look at This Season's Massive DCTV Crossover Is Here
To celebrate the announcement, artist Phil Jimenez was asked to create a custom comic book cover paying homage to DC's longtime annual comic book crossovers.

[09/22/17 - 12:00 PM]
"Star Trek: Discovery" Live After-Show "After Trek" Debuts This Sunday on CBS All Access
Matt Mira will host the series, while Sonequa Martin-Green, James Frain and Aaron Harberts will appear in the first episode.

[09/22/17 - 11:30 AM]
FOX Orders "Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back"
The new eight-episode series will feature Ramsay going through hell in order to bring failing restaurants back from the brink of disaster - all within 24 hours.

[09/22/17 - 10:52 AM]
Hallmark Channel Celebrates "Fall Harvest" with 5 New Original Movies
Highlights include "All of My Heart: Inn Love," the sequel to the 2015 film.