While many NFL fans wait (and hope) to see if Nickelodeon will produce another game telecast during the upcoming 2021 season. the children’s TV network is trying another path for promoting football to a young audience.
SportTechie’s Andrew Cohen reports that Nickelodeon is developing a live-action movie titled Fantasy Football for the Paramount+ streaming service. The story will follow the 15-year-old daughter of a professional football player who discovers that she can control her father’s on-field performance through a video game.
Fantasy Football is being co-produced by SpringHill Company, the production house created by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. Nickelodeon is eyeing a 2022 release for the project.
SpringHill’s involvement in another kids-themed movie with video-game elements comes as Space Jam: A New Legacy is released in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. With James in a starring role, that film imagines the NBA superstar and his son (who wants to create video games) being pulled into a virtual reality environment by an artificial intelligence.
Whether or not Fantasy Football will also get an actual video game tie-in like Space Jam: A New Legacy has for Xbox has yet to be announced.
Nickelodeon (owned by ViacomCBS) produced a broadcast for last season’s NFC Wild Card Playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears. Called by Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson, and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, the game telecast featured many kid-friendly elements such as animated slime cannons firing in the end zone when a touchdown was scored, googly eyes and exploding clouds super-imposed upon the players, and Minecraft-type graphics showing first-half highlights.
The Nickelodeon telecast drew 2.06 million viewers (combining for 30.7 million with the CBS broadcast), enough of a success that we’ll surely see another kids-themed production for a special event like a playoff game, if not a regular-season game.
SpringHill Company continues to produce plenty of projects amid reports that the production company is looking for a partner to buy a stake in its operation. Variety reports that Nike is among the companies showing interest along with streaming platforms and tech companies.