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The 7 - Football - "Playmakers" cancelled
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Battlezone
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#1 Posted on 4.2.04 1655.44
Reposted on: 4.2.11 1656.49
So, despite being a critical success for the network, if the NFL says "no more Playmakers", then "no more Playmakers, right? (espn.go.com)

I only saw a couple of episodes of the show, and wasn't all that impressed, but something stinks here. I mean, the series never claimed to be affiliated with the NFL at all. I get that they were crazy about the storylines, but how can the NFL see this as any sort of attack on their image?
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drjayphd
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#2 Posted on 4.2.04 1818.26
Reposted on: 4.2.11 1820.20
I think it was part reinforcing stereotypes about athletes and part dangling ESPN's NFL broadcast rights in front of them.
StaggerLee
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#3 Posted on 5.2.04 0343.05
Reposted on: 5.2.11 0343.19
Or perhaps its because not a lot of people actually watched it. I mean, maybe its just me but the two episodes I saw were complete garbage.
JoshMann
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#4 Posted on 5.2.04 0728.04
Reposted on: 5.2.11 0728.08
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Or perhaps its because not a lot of people actually watched it. I mean, maybe its just me but the two episodes I saw were complete garbage.


Agreed, but here's the problem.

The fact that ESPN cancelled it because the NFL nudged them gives the show a credibility it doesn't deserve. Was the show any good? No, it wasn't. It was every sports show stereotype you've ever seen wrapped up in short strokes...and to paraphrase David Spade, I enjoyed Playmakers the first time I saw it...when it was called "North Dallas Forty".

But now the the league forced it to be cancelled, betcha anything the marketing tagline for any rebroadcst on another network or on DVD is "The Show The NFL Doesn't Want You To See". So that they can take the route that it got cancelled not because it was BAD (the ratings were actually solid for the first season) but because it was EDGY, and TOO EDGY for the NFL.

So yeah, the NFL got what it wanted, but in the process they gave a crappy show martyr status.
Battlezone
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#5 Posted on 5.2.04 1121.37
Reposted on: 5.2.11 1122.02
Exactly. The show's ratings were in the toilet until the NFL started making noise about it. Then it started hovering in the 2's, which is a good number for that network.

The irony of all this is, of course, that ESPN acts all upset that the NFL objects to this show, but then they did the exact same thing to ABC when SportsNight was around. And of course, it met the same fate as Playmakers.

Honestly, I'd rather ESPN spend their resources on, you know, broadcasting sports as opposed to all of this "original programming", PTI excluded.

Or they could just create ESPN6 to give Bill Simmons something to bat around.
Retrovertigo
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#6 Posted on 5.2.04 1211.27
Reposted on: 5.2.11 1211.36
    Originally posted by Battlezone

    The irony of all this is, of course, that ESPN acts all upset that the NFL objects to this show, but then they did the exact same thing to ABC when SportsNight was around. And of course, it met the same fate as Playmakers.



What sort of proof of this can you point to? I find it really fishy since ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney, and I find it hard to believe one division of a company would openly pressure and fight against another. Also, Aaron Sorkin was inspired, in a positive fashion, to create Sports Night by virtue of being a non-sports-fan who found Sportscenter while stuck at home for a few weeks. Finally, at no time in the show's run (and I've watched it in its entirety dozens of times) did Sports Night ever portray ESPN or any other sports news outlet in a bad light, beyond off-air clashes with network brass, which I'm sure the folks at ESPN would have no problem with since they could probably relate to the internal heat Sports Night got from Disney.

Pressure didn't sack Sports Night, if you'll pardon the pun. What killed that show was the simple fact that people saw the title, assumed it was literally all about sports for every minute of every episode, watched an episode, and thought they'd been misled. I don't think your example applies.
Battlezone
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#7 Posted on 5.2.04 1314.22
Reposted on: 5.2.11 1314.53
    Originally posted by Retrovertigo
    What sort of proof of this can you point to? I find it really fishy since ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney, and I find it hard to believe one division of a company would openly pressure and fight against another.


Well, Fox News did threaten to sue the Simpsons not too long ago. (media.guardian.co.uk)

I don't have a direct link, but in the book ESPN: The Uncensored Story, there were many in the company behind the scenes that did not like the show. I think it was more of an "expose the business" kind of dislike, much in the way Vince wouldn't like a "dramedy" that showed life behind the scenes of the WWE.

One memorable part in the book noted Keith Olbermann decrying the show as "completely unrealistic" because a "black man would never be in charge at ESPN". But he's ALWAYS bitter, so who knows.
The Thrill
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#8 Posted on 6.2.04 0612.42
Reposted on: 6.2.11 0612.42
    Originally posted by Blanket Jackson
    ...and to paraphrase David Spade, I enjoyed Playmakers the first time I saw it...when it was called "North Dallas Forty".


Or...

I enjoyed "Playmakers" when I first saw it...when it was called the 1995 Dallas Cowboys. :-)
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