The great football series the NFL got canceled


When ESPN canceled Playmakers, a critically acclaimed and popular drama about the lives of professional football that ran for a single season in 2003, they were pretty transparent about why: it had pissed off the NFL. "It’s our opinion that we’re not in the business of antagonizing our partner, even though we’ve done it, and continued to carry it over the NFL’s objections," said Mark Shapiro, the then executive vice president of ESPN. "To bring it back would be rubbing it in our partner’s face."