Before Ice-T became part of the Special Victims Unit, NBC had him hired for another crime procedural that had him be a con man, who was supposed to con other con man for the sake of being a good man. Created by LAW & ORDER maestro Dick Wolf, and mystery guy Shaun Cassidy, PLAYERS came to air a few months before the 1998 Winter Olympics, and due to low ratings, was essentially canned for the Winter Olympics, returned after the Winter Olympics, but thanks to NBC’s non-patience, cancelled the show two episodes before the season finale.
The peacock network probably wasn’t hot to air the show from the beginning, since it premiered on Fridays at 8:00pm, which could be considered the general slot of death for TV shows. Airing on a day with general low viewership, and opening that day, even though it’s a freshman show? Yeah, that doesn’t tell you NBC was hoping for the show to open with big numbers and save the day that was usually reserved for DATELINE, even though it might be. One episode even randomly aired on a Saturday, because DATELINE was taking over the 8:00pm slot, as well as the next hour. There was pretty much no way for PLAYERS to ever become a hit. And not even Ice-T can make a show a hit, especially when he is carrying said show.
After NBC saw that PLAYERS delivered the lowest rating ever in the first week of April, the show was cancelled for good and replaced with a random clip show repeat. The two final episodes remained unaired until the show landed in syndication.