One of a handful of pilots featuring black actors in lead roles that were ordered to series, NBC’s action-adventure "The Player" (it was initially titled "Endgame"), which hails from the producers of "Leverage" and "The Blacklist," and stars Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes, is what the network calls an action-packed Las Vegas thriller about a former military operative turned security expert (Winchester) who is drawn into a high-stakes game where an organization of wealthy individuals gamble on his ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out.
Snipes plays the highly intelligent, analytical, and unflappable "pit boss" of the game that Winchester’s character is caught up in.
The cast also includes Damon Gupton (who we last saw on the small screen in the WEtv Legal Thriller "The Divide," which was canceled after 1 season last year. He also appeared in 4 episodes of Fox’s "Empire," playing a Detective Calvin Walker) and Charity Wakefield.
John Rogers serves as writer and executive producer. John Davis, John Fox and director Bharat Nalluri also executive produce.
Watching the just-released "official first look" at the upcoming show below, I would’ve loved to see Snipes as the military operative, instead of the pit boss. He certainly has an "action hero" resume, and, despite being a few years older since we last saw him kick butt on screen, he’s clearly still got the moves and could’ve easily settled in the role. Alas, that’s not the case, so we’ll just have to take what NBC has given us. I’ll still tune in and check out the series – as is customary, I’m good for at least the first 3 episodes, and if I’m hooked, I’ll continue watching.
NBC has set a Thursday night (premiering September 24), 10pm slot for "The Player," which means it’ll go head-to-head against "How to Get Away with Murder" on ABC. So you’ve got some options, options, options… "The Player" will get first dibs in my house though.
Worth noting – Wesley Snipes inked a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television earlier this year, which will see the actor develop and produce a diverse slate of projects, via his Maandi Media shingle.