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)





[01/20/18 - 08:35 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Keeps Top Spot in Viewers, Demos
"MacGyver" and "Hawaii Five-0" lead the night in adults 18-49, while "Blue Bloods" is the most-watched program.

[01/19/18 - 11:39 PM]
Development Update: Friday, January 19
Updates include: FOX orders first wave of pilots; Netflix's "The Kominsky Method" fills out cast; and "The Flash's" Keiynan Lonsdale moves to "DC's Legends of Tomorrow."

[01/19/18 - 10:00 AM]
The Final Episodes of "Star Wars Rebels" Begin February 19 on Disney XD
The final episodes will unfold over three weeks, with two back-to-back episodes premiering every Monday night on Disney XD, until its epic 90-minute conclusion on Monday, March 5.

[01/19/18 - 09:59 AM]
Netflix Announces New Original Documentary Series Launching Winter/Spring 2018
"Flint Town" and "Wild Wild Country" will join the previously announced "Ugly Delicious," among others.

[01/19/18 - 09:24 AM]
Steve Harvey's "Steve" Renewed for Season Two
"Steve" has already been sold in 90% of the U.S. on NBC Owned Television Stations as well as leading station groups across the country including Sinclair and Hearst.

[01/19/18 - 09:23 AM]
Discovery's Street Outlaws Are Racing to a City Near You in the All-New Series "Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings"
A sneak peak airs Tuesday, February 27 at 10:00/9:00c and all-new episodes continue on Wednesday, March 7 at 9:00/8:00c.

[01/19/18 - 08:17 AM]
Joel McHale Unveils New Weekly Series Coming to Netflix
"The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale" is a new, weekly half-hour topical series that takes a sharp, absurdist look at pop culture and news from across the globe.

[01/19/18 - 08:13 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Holds Off Competition in Viewers, Demos
Plus: ABC and The CW's dramas return up from their fall finales.

[01/19/18 - 07:26 AM]
David Bromstad Helps Lottery Winners Hit the Real Estate Jackpot in New Season of HGTV's "My Lottery Dream Home"
The 14 fresh episodes will follow David as he and his instant-millionaire clients tour three spectacular properties to find the family their forever home.

[01/18/18 - 11:14 PM]
Development Update: Thursday, January 18
Updates include: Gabrielle Union-led "Bad Boys" spin-off gets pilot order from NBC; Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Catherine Dyer to visit FOX's "The Resident"; and Damon Lindelof renews overall deal with Warner Bros. Television.

[01/18/18 - 06:31 PM]
Freeform Sends Zoey Off to Sophomore Year with a Season 2 Order of "grown-ish"
The premiere boasted Freeform's highest debut for a comedy in nearly six years.

[01/18/18 - 05:01 PM]
Breaking News from Freeform's First-Ever Freeform Summit
The network reveals premiere dates for "Marvel's Cloak & Dagger," "The Bold Type" and "Famous in Love" and more!

[01/18/18 - 12:21 PM]
Video: "Brockmire" Returns to the Booth in the Big Easy - First Season 2 Teaser Released
In a first look, Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) arrives in New Orleans, seeking redemption while wallowing in excess and looking to get his once-legendary baseball broadcast career back on track.

[01/18/18 - 11:52 AM]
Video: A Series Inspired by the Greatest Corruption Scandal of All Time - "The Mechanism" Will Be Revealed on March 23
Get ready to join a small group of dogged investigators on the hunt to discover the inner workings of the biggest corruption scheme of all time and the impact their pursuit will have on everyone involved - including themselves.

[01/18/18 - 11:06 AM]
"Party of Five" Reboot from Sony Pictures Television, with Original Creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, Lands Put Pilot Commitment at Freeform
The reboot will follow the five Buendias children as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are suddenly deported back to Mexico.