Strike one, Wesley Snipes.
The former cinematic action star got his first red pen “x” placed on his television resume last week when NBC trimmed the order on The Player to nine episodes instead of 13. That is a nice way of canceling a show. It will air its final episode on November 19th, tentatively. That is when networks shows start to take that midseason break and let reruns fire up or possibly new shows, like Shades of Blue, bloom a bit. The Jennifer Lopez cop drama will take over the coveted Thursday Blacklist exit spot at 9pm central in January, effectively ending Snipes first foray into the tube. Was it too soon?
No. The show was entertaining at times but far too often, repetitive and with a plot more flimsy than Snipes’ acting chops or overly choreographed fight scenes. It carried zero juice, the thing that gets people to stick around and see where your story goes. The Player was flat. A dud. Every week it came on, you though to yourself, “Will this episode reveal anything new or just produce an exciting shootout?”
In the Strikeback NBC showdown, Philip Winchester lost out to Sullivan Stapleton. The latter’s show, Blindspot, has been wildly successful and got picked up for a full 22 episodes. Sullivan got a better show than his former co-star. Blindspot has a sharper premise, a better cast and a lot of avenues for its story to grow. It’s also not as contrived. It’s still network familiar but it’s intriguing.
What happens to Snipes now? A few more direct to DVD action fests before another chance presents itself. If Christian Slater can get three chances at a TV series, Snipes can get a couple. He should just bring Blade to TV. Get it over with.
Did you like The Player? Are you sad to see it go?