Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Premiering August 26, 2003, the weekly, 60-minute Playmakers was the first "scripted" series presented by cable's ESPN network, which normally focused on sports events and discussion programs. The 11-episode series chronicled a season in the life of the Cougars, a fictional pro football team in a league that resembled the NFL. Omar Gooding, younger brother of Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., headed the cast as hotshot running back Demetrius Harris. Also appearing were Russell Hornsby as Harris' principal rival, veteran gridiron star Leon Taylor; Jason Matthew Smith as Taylor's linebacker friend Eric Olczyk ; Marcello Thedford as offensive tackle "Buffalo" James, who idolized Harris; Christopher Wiehl as Derek McConnell, an all-pro quarterback in a deep and seemingly inescapable slump; and Tony Denison as head coach Mike George. To avoid alienating TV fans who felt surfeited with sports, the series devoted much of its time to the off-field lives of the principals and their loved ones. Filmed in Toronto, Playmakers was created by John Eisendrath, who was also an executive producer on the popular ABC espionage series Alias.
football, football-team, pro-sports, season [sports], sports-star