Fall TV Preview
The Player Season 1 Preview

The Player Boss Addresses NBC Drama's 'Ridiculous' Premise

The producers of The Player are well aware that the upcoming NBC drama is, well, not exactly realistic. But don’t say that like it’s a negative,  thank you very much.

“Ridiculous is a valid artistic choice!” creator John Rogers (The Librarians, Leverage) happily replied after a critic threw out the adjective to describe the outré premise — a former military operative-turned-security expert (played by Strike Back‘s Philip Winchester)  is drawn into a shady organization that gambles on crime.

“‘Pulp’ was the word we were really landing on when we were developing the show,” Rogers continued at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday. “To me, Shonda Rhimes is pulp. Pulp is any story that’s high velocity, big characters making big decisions, big emotional stakes, and every episode is a thrill ride. We just decided to do it within the genre of action. … We’re going to knock your socks off every week.”

Addressing the balance of procedural to serialized elements in the series, “I like to say, ‘It’s consistency, not continuity,'” Rogers described. “The idea that when you show up, every week, you’re going to get a close-ended story with a beginning, middle and end. You’re going to have a great ride… But I’m not a big believer in stringing people” along for answers.

“By the end of [Episode] 13, you’ll have good, satisfying answers,” Rogers promised.

As for the similarities between Wesley Snipes’ mysterious pit boss Mr. Johnson and James Spader’s character on NBC’s Blacklist, with which The Player shares several producers, EP John Fox admitted that “there’s commonality” between the two men.

“As enigmatic as Red is, we, going in, knew a little bit more about Red than we know about Mr. Johnson,” Fox said. But do they do “both exist in the same kind of morally ambiguous universe.”

The Player premieres Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10/9c.

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20 Comments
  1. I hope the show gets a quick cancellation so Philip Winchester can join his Strike Back brother-in-arms, Sullivan Stapleton, on his new show, Blindspot. I just saw the pilot and it was WAY better than expected, his addition would make it awesome.

    • Mr. Tran K says:

      Don’t hate on The Player even though it’s going up against HTGAWM and Elementary (after football) in the 10 pm Thursday night time slot.

    • Murica! says:

      This show looks great! Why would he join Blindspot? That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. That show doesn’t need another FBI agent.

      Strike Back was a great show, but the last season was a real letdown.

      • Mr. Tran K says:

        Agreed. Blindspot/Player crossover won’t happen. Both Philip and Sullivan on respective NBC series would be great for these Strike Back actors but we’ll see if both or neither one of them get pass the first season.

  2. wrstlgirl says:

    I’m watching for Philip Winchester. I hope it’s good.

  3. I’ve seen the pilot, and it was one of my favorites so far for next season. It is a little “out there,” but it was fun, full of action, and honestly, Philip Winchester is sexy as all get-out, so…

  4. James D says:

    Um you can call it what you want, but it has Philip Winchester and Wesley freaking Snipes in it so me thinks I will enjoy the heck out of it.

  5. Matt says:

    This is a John Rogers show? Looks like I’ll be checking it out.

    • antisocialbutterflie says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Ann Marie says:

      Me too. Leverage remains one of my all-time favorite shows and I really enjoy the Librarians also. I wasn’t sure about this show until I found out John Rogers is involved.

  6. Mr. Tran K says:

    This should give a big boost for a Blacklist lead-in. Really looking forward to it come September 24th because of Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester. NBC is destined to have a couple of breakout hits in The Player & Blindspot because of two actors from Strike Back (Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton) in respective series. Don’t hate on The Player, always bet on the series because it’s considered 100% popcorn TV.

    • Kiddoo says:

      Always bet on…black. That’s about the last time Wesley Snipes was a draw. I’ll check it out but fully expect this to tank.

      • Mr. Tran K says:

        Whatever but again going up against HTGAWM and Elementary (after football) in the 10 pm Thursday night time slot are really “tough odds” and I’ll be very disappointed if it doesn’t get pass the first season. Complain if you dare because I always hate complainers.

        • Lizo says:

          I hope the network has reasonable expectations for it in the slot against those two shows. I’m excited for this show and I’m going to watch, but Elementary & HTGAWM are two of my favourite shows so it’s a tough night (no issue for pvr though lol). So I hope they keep that in mind when it comes to renewal/ratings. You don’t go up against two shows with obsessive fans and expect to compete on the same level.

  7. Lizo says:

    Well, if they are deliberately being ridiculous, that’s a ride I can go on. And it’s Wesley Snipes!! Been waiting for his Hollywood return foreverrrrrr.

  8. Joshua says:

    Philip Winchester as 007. Now that would be freakin awesome.