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)









[04/15/14 - 03:06 PM]
NHL Regular Season Sets Viewership Records Across NBC & NBCSN
NBC spins the numbers for its NHL coverage to date this season.

[04/15/14 - 03:02 PM]
Monday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "The Voice" Tops Demos, "DWTS" Leads Viewers
Plus: numbers for Syfy's "Warehouse 13," MTV's "16 & Pregnant" and TBS's "Bam's Bad Ass Game Show."

[04/15/14 - 02:00 PM]
A Special Behind-the-Scenes Preview of "24: Live Another Day" Airs Saturday, May 3, on FOX
The half-hour special features interviews with the series' Emmy Award-winning director, producers and series stars.

[04/15/14 - 01:51 PM]
"The Maya Rudolph Show" Special Set to Air on NBC May 19
Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson and Sean Hayes are among those slated to appear.

[04/15/14 - 01:15 PM]
Discovery Channel's "Naked and Afraid" #1 Ad Supported Program in Cable Among Men on Sunday
Discovery spins the numbers for Sunday, April 13.

[04/15/14 - 12:24 PM]
Nickelodeon's First Preschool Literacy Mobile App Tops Educational, Kids and Paid App Lists
The app aims to help kids develop phonemic awareness, letter knowledge and letter-sound associations, and promote excitement about words and learning to read.

[04/15/14 - 12:13 PM]
"48 Hours: Father and Son" Is Saturday's #1 Non-Sports Broadcast Program with Viewers
CBS spins the numbers for Saturday, April 12.

[04/15/14 - 12:10 PM]
Abby Lee Miller to Make Over Struggling Dance Studios in New Series "Abby's Studio Rescue," Premiering June 17
Each week, the show follows Abby as she dishes her tough love and no-nonsense advice while giving dance studios a second chance to finally bring home the gold.

[04/15/14 - 12:01 PM]
Stephen Colbert to Visit CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," Tuesday, April 22
CBS announced last week that Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning "The Colbert Report," will be the next host of the "Late Show."

[04/15/14 - 11:41 AM]
Video: "Salem" - First Full Season Trailer
The new series launches this Sunday, April 10 at 10:00/9:00c on WGN America.

[04/15/14 - 11:37 AM]
Adult Swim Ranks #1 in Primetime Delivery of Adults 18-34 Among All Basic Cable Networks
Turner spins the numbers for the week of April 7-13.

[04/15/14 - 11:28 AM]
Sunday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "Game of Thrones" Holds Onto Demo Crown
Plus: numbers for MTV's "2014 Movie Awards," AMC's "Mad Men" and HBO's "Veep."

[04/15/14 - 11:24 AM]
Saturday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: FOX Tops Charts with NASCAR Sprint Cup
Plus: numbers for Syfy's "Bermuda Tentacles," Lifetime's "Death Clique" and TLC's "Sex Sent Me to the ER."

[04/15/14 - 11:07 AM]
Second-Place Chelsea v. Sunderland Saturday on NBC at 12:30 PM ET Highlights NBC Sports Group's Weekend Slate of Matches
Lead Premier League play-by-play announcer Arlo White is joined by Jim Beglin for the call from Stamford Bridge.

[04/15/14 - 10:49 AM]
Werdum and Browne Clash in Epic Heavyweight Bout at FOX UFC Saturday
Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace and No. 2-ranked Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1) matches wits and fists with Hawaiian knockout artist and No.3-ranked Travis Browne (16-1-1) to determine who faces champion Cain Velasquez next.