"Playmakers" not returning.

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by TheLongshot, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

    May 12, 2000
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    ESPN just made an announcement that "Playmakers" will not be back, partially to do with pressure from the NFL.


    Now, I never saw the series, but I am curious what people thought of it, and whether or not it was "fair" to the NFL. I know it dealt with a lot of tough subjects, and that the NFL was probably not too happy about it.

  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    Most of the "problems" or situations depicted on "Playmakers" had some ring of truth to them, but it was a matter of ABC/ESPN having paid tons of money to air NFL games on one hand, and then having this show that paints the pro football players less than deserving all the money and attention they get as a show that undermined their investment in their NFL contract.
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Oct 26, 2002
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    I watched it off and on and found it quite depressing, especially because a lot of it was true. It's too bad they took it off because that sport needs some kind of reality check--to me it's grown into this enormous marketing and money machine using football itself simply as a means to an (financial) end. The players seem simply to be cogs in a machine, nothing more, to be used up and spit out when they are worn-out or broken.

    I wish I hadn't watched all those interviews the past decade or so with real football players detailing what goes on in pro ball, because watching games now isn't as fun, knowing what some are going through down there on the field.

  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    May 19, 2002
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    Well let’s make a little list of how pro football, the players, coaches and owners were depicted:

    ·A running back is on the disabled list and gets replaced by the new, younger, faster guy. Lots of tension and bad feelings ensues.
    ·A player has martial problems and strikes his wife in a fit of anger (the incident is actually played down as it is shown as an accident)
    ·Another player has a drug problem, even to the point of taking drugs on game day
    ·Same player has retained some bad friends
    ·The coach is under the thumb of the owner
    ·The owner is a heartless guy, who does not really care about the welfare of his players
    ·A homosexual player has a hard problem dealing with his sexuality and is afraid to come out of the closet
    ·A star player has causal sex with a lot of girls and ignores them afterwards.
    ·Same player gets one of them pregnant and does not go with her to get her abortion—delegates this to the trainer
    ·The trainer is exploited by the owner
    ·The guy with the drug problem helps cover up a killing by one of his bad friends.
    ·A female reporter makes a pass to a married player.
    ·Several of the players regularly frequent a strip club where they drink a pick up girls.

    Does any single incident sound familiar? To be sure none of this probably happened in the same season and on the same team, but overall the Dallas Cowboys of the last 15 years could have given this team cards and spades and still come out on top.
  5. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Supporting Actor

    Mar 25, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Well, the Grand Poobahs of the NFL have spoken. [​IMG]

    Playmakers is no more because the NFL may have had an issue, IMHO, of some "family business" being aired that they did not care to have too many people taking at heart. [​IMG]

    To me, it is a shame. [​IMG]

    Here it is, the network's third-highest-rated program, behind, incidentally, NFL games and Prime-Time College Football, yet, because it is back in cohoots with the NFL for an extention of its recently-renewed contract, ESPN needed to wash their hands of the product as to appease the NFL. [​IMG]

    And, to think, this was ESPN's maiden voyage into scripted/produced weekly television drama, seen as an attempt to branch out and grow--if not evolve. Given the angles of the program itself, per the vagaries of the various characters and subsequent storylines, I believe there was a move on to try and get more women to sample more programming who may not have done so otherwise.

    Did it work? To me, it did. [​IMG]

    Were they successful? Yes. The stories each got better, IMHO, with each passing week.

    How good were they? Too good, to illicit the wrath of the NFL Poohbahs.

    Sometimes, you can not only be good or barely good enough--you can also be too good for your own good.

    And that, to me, is what happened with Playmakers. It was simply too much of a good thing. [​IMG]
  6. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    I will say this, I was pretty offended with the way the gay character storyline ended; they just pretty much disposed of it with "hidden cameras" that the owner had to capture a drug deal.. point blank, if he had that way before hand, then whether or not the guy was gay or not, don't you think it would have come up? And the threat to blackball the guy.. anyway, I felt a lot of the plotlines on Playmakers wrapped up very badly, and wasn't surprised to see it not return.. not because of NFL pressure, but because the ratings (and I've seen the nielson's) were terrible in comparison to ESPN running probowling, even..

    This isn't to totally dog the show; I TiVO'd every ep, and I thought some of the actors were very good. I was pretty involved in the storylines with the linebacker (a great storyline well played) as well as the incident with wife abuse (though it was played down, which I'm not sure how I feel about that)

    The show deserved a longer life, with a different writing staff, I think.. but apparently not on ESPN. Should go somewhere like HBO.
  7. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

    Dec 10, 2001
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    I liked it and also realized that none of the good things, deeds or people in the NFL were being exploded like the problems in the league were. A show depicting the wholesome nature of the NFL wouldn't last 6 episodes. So, it was doomed to fail either way.
  8. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

    Dec 2, 2002
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    I don't know what your talking about. It was ESPN's second highest rated show after Sunday night football. Maybe you saw the ratings for a 2am rerun or something.

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