Fall TV Preview
The Player Review NBC

Fall TV First Impression: The Player

The broadcast networks have more than 20 shows debuting this fall, including a soaring Supergirl, reborn Heroes, reanimated Muppets and sexy Scream Queens. To help you prep, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

PHOTOS Fall TV Preview: Your Guide to What’s New!

THE SHOW | NBC’s The Player (Thursdays at 10/9c, premiering Sept. 24)

THE COMPETITION | ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder and CBS’ Elementary

THE CAST | Philip Winchester (Strike Back), Wesley Snipes (Blade), Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall) and Damon Gupton (Empire)

THE SET-UP | Suppose a mysterious gentleman enlisted a former elite military operative to help prevent crimes as predicted by a supercomputer? Interesting, a person might say.

RELATED Fall TV Grid 2015: What’s on When? And Versus What?

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | Solving crime after it is committed is so passé, given that this fall we have The Player as well as Fox’s Minority Report on our screens, while CBS’ Person of Interest rides the pine until midseason. Here, Winchester has a bit more fun than Strike Back pal Sullivan Stapleton over on Blindspot, playing Alex Kane, a G-man turned Las Vegas security expert who is recruited by the calm ‘n’ cool Mr. Johnson aka The Pit Boss (Snipes) and his colleague Cassandra aka The Dealer (Wakefield, at right) to ThePlayer_Cassandrastop predicted crimes, while the world’s ridiculously wealthy wager on the outcome. Nudging Alex to take this gig as “The Player” is the chance to avenge the death of his wife (played in far too few scenes by Cara Buono).

POI comparisons beg to be made, if only because Alex at one point turns to a security cam he knows Cassandra to be monitoring and asks for “help.” But if Finch and Reese exist in a slightly remarkable universe, The Player‘s playground is downright unbelievable, especially when Johnson accesses from his clear iPad a hologrammed wall of bettors. That said, Snipes appears to be having a ball, peppering his dapper alter ego with specific tics and flourishes, while Winchester has a real root-for quality and strongly sells the action. Wakefield’s tone relative to the others seems a bit off, so the jury is out on her perky-yet-deceptive character. Also, let us all hope they burned through all the gambling wordplay in the pilot (a la “Fold, Mr. Kane. Your hand isn’t strong enough”).

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Opposite the buzzy-yet-intense Murder and cerebral procedural Elementary, The Player has the chance to grab some eyeballs, offering the closest thing NBC has had to a straight-out action series in a while. Of course, given the Peacock’s track record in the time slot, the Vegas drama faces — wait for it — tough odds.

RELATED Read First Impressions for Fox’s The Grinder, ABC’s Quantico, CBS’ Supergirl, NBC’s Blindspot

Watch a trailer for The Player, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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29 Comments
  1. m3rcnate says:

    I’ll give it 3 episodes but it looks really bad in all the typical NBC ways (bad sets, bad CGI, hate the super saturated colors NBC shoots shows with). Which sucks because i love the lead who is on Strike Back.

    • Maryann says:

      LOVE the supersaturated colors. The undersaturated palette is one of the reasons I’m not really looking forward to the upcoming Superman Batman debacle.

      • m3rcnate says:

        For some shows/movies it works, for most (IMO) it doesn’t. For example; Revolution (NBC), for a show about the world borderline coming to an end and all the bad stuff that was happening in that show, the color palate was just WAAAY too saturated. I prefer the realistic coloring of Fox’s shows.

  2. Mare says:

    It’s on my list of shows to try! Looks entertaining!

  3. Jared says:

    Philip Winchester is great but this show looks awful and NBC sucks.

  4. Lizo says:

    I’ll check it out because of Snipes, but I’ll be making POI comparisons all the time haha. And man that’s a tough time slot.

  5. James D says:

    wasn’t planing on watching this because of the clear derivatives in its narration but after watching the sneak peak a few months ago I’ve changed my tune it looks like Campy goodness to me, at the very least the action set-pieces seem to be well done and I will be entertained by that.

  6. star says:

    I hope the show is good because I am loyal to my strike back guys.will definitely watch it

  7. Maryann says:

    Well, Snipes is a point against. Executive producers of The Blacklist is definitely aoint for. Will check it out and then decide.

  8. justsomeguy says:

    Re ally only interested because of Wesley Snipes. I thought he was starring in this show, but it sounds more like a second banana type role than anything. Meh. Hopefully he’s in each episode and plays an active and integral part of the story.

  9. Boiler says:

    Not interested but also goes against football thru October. Trouble

  10. Amy H says:

    I like Philip Winchester so I’ll check it out. It’s going to be a hard sell vs the others in it’s time slot though.

  11. Bob Jones says:

    I am so going to watch the bleep out of this . . . Wesley Snipes, Philip Winchester, Cara Buono, Epic

  12. herman1959 says:

    If NBC really believes in this show, they will move it too another timeslot. Either way, I won’t be watching, Murder and Elementary are more than enough for me.

  13. Ally Oop says:

    The premise didn’t interest me but I liked the trailer so I’m going to check it out. Whether I stick with it depends on its more serial elements. If there’s enough serial parts to this it may be a keeper although it lacks a female lead which is a downside for me.

  14. Eran says:

    Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell early cancellation…

  15. yurie says:

    What’s happened to Wesley’s face? It looks… strange. :-|

  16. Martoukian says:

    I had to look it up to find out what “Strike Back” was; I had never heard of it. This is the first I’ve heard of this show, too. Sounds like the same as many TV shows and lots of movies, too.

  17. Pati says:

    I’m giving it a try, only because Strike Back is over and I love Phillip Winchester, hopefully it will do well

  18. meatwad says:

    i’m a sucker for these types of shows. then add in Philip and Wesley and well i’ll watch all six episodes that they air til they cancel it

  19. Mr. Tran K says:

    Definitely worth watching. Wesley Snipes hasn’t done in a television series before his time in the movie business but he’s the real reason why I’m looking forward to it along with Philip Winchester. Both Wesley & Philip make a great TV duo and in a tough 10 p.m. Thursday night time slot, how will it fare against HTGAWM and Elementary? Don’t hate on The Player, bet on the series and it should give a big boost for a Blacklist lead-in.

  20. Ram510 says:

    I’m guessing it’ll get a 1.0. This looks like a dud

  21. Maryann says:

    What a show is opposite means little to me. I will likely watch Murder live when I can and catch this one online, but I have never made it through a full episode of Elementary — the lead grates on my nerves far too much.

  22. Teri mensink says:

    Love the show but the music over rides the actors and we cannot hear anything they say, if it doesn’t improve will have to stop watching

  23. Diane Babineaux says:

    I love this show! Never boring & even though I am not necessarily a Wesley Snipes fan, there’s just something about his character that I am drawn to.
    Philip Winchester is a Daniel Craig type actor; ruggedly handsome and very appealing both clothed & unclothed. Show is action packed from beginning to end. I hope it is a success. Reality shows are now & have always been boring to me.