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)





[05/26/17 - 12:31 PM]
Senators-Penguins Game 7 Double-OT Thriller on NBCSN Averages More Than 3 Million Viewers
NBCSN spins the numbers for Thursday, May 25.

[05/26/17 - 10:01 AM]
Disney XD's "Star vs. The Forces of Evil" Two-Hour TV Movie Event to Premiere Saturday, July 15
Season three of the fan-favorite and Annie Award-nominated series is slated to debut this fall.

[05/26/17 - 09:07 AM]
"Into the Badlands" Closes Its Second Season as a Top Scripted Series on Cable
AMC further spins the numbers for the series to date.

[05/26/17 - 08:36 AM]
NBC's 10 P.M. "The Red Nose Day Special" #1 in Timeslot in 18-49 and Improves on Last Year's Telecast by 40% in Demo and 27% in Total Viewers
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, May 25.

[05/25/17 - 11:55 PM]
3rd Annual Red Nose Day Raises Over $35 Million for Children in Need, Top Stars Join NBC's Night of Red Nose Day Programming & Live Special
The donation total was calculated after the broadcast finished airing on the West Coast.

[05/25/17 - 03:59 PM]
Video: Netflix Reveals Trailer and Key Art for CounterPunch
The film brings to light the true stories of a number of young boxers determined not only to turn around the fate of the industry, but to also make sure their names end up in the firmament alongside the most remembered and revered champions.

[05/25/17 - 03:50 PM]
Top Ninja Warriors Will Show Off Their Strength on NBC's Annual Three-Hour Special "USA vs. The World" Airing Sunday, June 4 (8-11 PM ET/PT)
Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila are set to host and Kristine Leahy will co-host.

[05/25/17 - 02:36 PM]
ABC Wins Its 4th Consecutive May in Adults 18-49, Delivering Its Longest Winning Streak for the Sweep in Over 25 Years
ABC further spins the numbers for the May sweeps period.

[05/25/17 - 02:32 PM]
Production Team for "69th Primetime Emmys" Announced
Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner of White Cherry Entertainment will executive produce this year's telecast.

[05/25/17 - 01:27 PM]
Video: First Look at Ludacris in MTV's "Fear Factor"
The series returns this Tuesday, May 30 at 10:00/9:00c.

[05/25/17 - 11:59 AM]
Rubber Hits the Road on the New Season of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" Premiering Wednesday, June 28th
Celebrity guests this season include President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, Ted Koppel, Wanda Sykes, Michael Strahan, Brad Garrett, Josh Duhamel, J. B. Smoove, among others.

[05/25/17 - 10:59 AM]
History Orders Robert Zemeckis Scripted Drama Series "Blue Book"
"Blue Book" chronicles the true top secret United States Air Force-sponsored investigations into UFO-related phenomena in the 1950's and 60's known as "Project Blue Book."

[05/25/17 - 10:46 AM]
Summer Is Blazing Hot with "Teen Choice 2017" Live Sunday, August 13, on FOX
For 19 years, the special has presented performances and appearances by some of pop culture's brightest stars.

[05/25/17 - 10:30 AM]
The Avengers Return for an Action-Packed One-Hour "Marvel's Avengers: Secret Wars" Season Four Premiere on Saturday, June 17, on Disney XD
Picking up right after the events of season three "Ultron Revolution," the fourth season finds Tony Stark trapped in another dimension.

[05/25/17 - 10:04 AM]
"Legends of Chamberlain Heights" Returns for Season Two on Sunday, June 18 at 11:30 P.M. ET/PT on Comedy Central
"Legends of Chamberlain Heights" is an urban animated series mixing raucous comedy and social commentary that centers on three high school freshman basketball benchwarmers.