'Field of Dreams' TV Series From 'Parks and Recreation' Creator Heads to Peacock
If you build it, they will come.
Those words spoken in the film Field of Dreams apply to more than just baseball fields, apparently. Hot on the heels of the successful production put on by Major League Baseball, where the New York Yankees played a regular season game against the Chicago White Sox right across from the actual Iowa-based field from the beloved baseball movie, Peacock has given a straight-to-series green light for a Field of Dreams series to be produced by writer, creator, and super-producer Michael Schur, of Parks and Recreation and The Good Place fame.
MLB’s widely-publicized Field of Dreams game was initially supposed to take place last year alongside the film’s 30th anniversary, but obviously the pandemic had other ideas. Delayed to this past week, the game exceeded everyone’s expectations with its gorgeous vistas of professional baseball played amid farmhouses and cornfields (into which many home runs disappeared during the course of the game), the golden hour sunset, and a ratings bonanza that resulted in the most-viewed regular season game in over 15 years.
That last part is probably the most important nugget of information, as the spectacle proved that there’s still a hunger to be exploited when it comes to Field of Dreams nostalgia. According to Peacock’s official announcement, the in-development series “…will reimagine the mixture of family, baseball, Iowa and magic that makes the movie so enduring and beloved.”
I can’t help but feel like the thing that makes the movie so enduring and beloved is, you know, the movie itself and the fact that audiences haven’t been overexposed by attempted “reimaginings” of the classic story. But that’s why I’m here and others are running NBC. In fact, take it from the President of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming herself, Lisa Katz:
“Through the years, Field of Dreams has remained a fan favorite, maintaining its rightful position in the zeitgeist. It’s whimsical and grounded, a space where Mike Schur excels, and we’re looking forward to bringing a new version of this classic to Peacock.”
Erin Underhill, President of Universal Television, also chimes in to support Schur’s take on this property:
“Field of Dreams is an iconic Universal Film title from venerable producers Lawrence and Charles Gordon, that we could only have entrusted to Mike Schur. His talent, his love for baseball and his reverence for its themes make him the perfect choice to revisit this beloved film that evokes nostalgia and visceral emotion in so many of its fans.”
Will They Come?
I’ll fess up: even as a lifelong Yankees fan, I could barely muster up any enthusiasm about the Field of Dreams baseball game (and that was before the Yankees managed to lose the game in excruciating fashion). There was something weirdly off-putting about an inherently nostalgic sport putting on a public display of nostalgia around a deeply nostalgic baseball movie that proved to be too much for me. And for all that fuss, they didn’t even play on the actual field! But the ratings obviously dictate otherwise, which is why this news comes as little surprise.
But do baseball ratings translate to actual viewership numbers for a Field of Dreams series on Peacock, of all places? I have my doubts, as tempting as it is to imagine Film Twitter and Baseball Twitter crossing over into one big chaotic mess of hot takes and fandom freak-outs. I wonder how much viewers are really dying for more Field of Dreams content, an itch that couldn’t be scratched simply by … watching the original movie again. I’ve been wrong before, so I’ll be watching this closely to see whether this series proves to be another home run (ugh) or vanishes into the cornfield like a ghost.
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