A professional football team is the backdrop for ESPN's first-ever fictional dramatic series, PLAYMAKERS, which will premiere Tuesday, August 26 at 9:00 PM/ET on ESPN. This series will be a compelling, weekly original saga, dramatically portraying a wide range of characters associated with the team -- players, coaches, front office personnel, cheerleaders and more -- facing the everyday pressures and demands of life in the spotlight as part of a pro football franchise. John Eisendrath, executive producer of ABC's award-winning spy drama Alias, created the weekly series for ESPN and will serve as the show's executive producer.

Following the premiere, 10 additional 60-minute episodes will air on subsequent Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m. with a re-air directly following at 10:00 p.m. Filmed on location in Toronto, this ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) project is set to begin production in June.

"A weekly scripted dramatic series is the natural next step in the evolution of ESPN. This move furthers the EOE mission of applying the broad-appeal of sports to new genres," said Mark Shapiro, ESPN executive vice president, programming and production. "The powerfully creative team behind PLAYMAKERS will draw new viewers with a program our core viewers will also find dynamic and realistic."

PLAYMAKERS will also be executive produced by Orly Adelson of Orly Adelson Productions (The Truth About Jane), who also executive produced ESPN's critically acclaimed TV-movie, The Junction Boys, and Rob Thomas, accomplished author and screenwriter and former executive producer and creator of the ABC television series Cupid. Thomas was also a staff writer on Dawson's Creek. Additionally, Thomas played tight end for the Texas Christian University football while in college.

PLAYMAKERS is a fictional, dramatic series, revolving around a team in a fictitious professional football league.

EOE is developing a wide-variety of branded programming to add to the network's comprehensive event and sports news coverage. Using a collection of vehicles - original movies, reality-based shows, dramatic series, documentaries, game shows and more - ESPN's goal is to broaden its audience by more strongly appealing to younger and casual sports fans.