After making a splash at Comic-Con, NBC brought its action series The Player to TCA today. The series follows Alex Kane, a former intelligence officer (Philip Winchester) who after losing his wife, becomes the muscle to Mr. Johnson, a mysterious billionaire (Wesley Snipes) who runs the Las Vegas game. Part of the suspense every week is that Kane, Johnson and femme fatale Cassandra (Charity Wakefield) don’t exactly trust each other as fellow team members.
Describing the series’ jumping off point, EP and co-creator John Rogers gave props to fellow EP John Fox. “My wife’s friend’s husband, who I don’t really know, is a degenerative gambler. I was at a kid’s birthday party and the guy was telling me that he gambles so much, there’s no thrill in it. No rush. Then I thought, well what if you could bet on crime? Would the murder be solved?”
Rogers took to the hook, mapping out the the complex character of Mr. Johnson, who Snipes would play. “That’s part of the fun of the show. How do we game on crime?” said Rogers who challenged his writers to come up with a list of crimes that would be impossible to solve.
Talking about Snipes’ Johnson, Rogers said “He’s a guy who makes life and death. Is he a moral man or an ethical man? And unraveling that — that’s a great guy to explore for six to seven seasons.”
EP John Zinman added, “Ultimately they’re (Johnson and Alex Kane) stopping crime. It’s just the means that are questioned. Movies and TV have a great tradition of worshiping vigilantes. We all want to stop the bad guys.”
Though the show is based in Las Vegas, Zinman mentioned that it won’t be entirely set there, with the drama extending to Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.