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NBC Cuts Episode Order for Wesley Snipes Thriller ‘The Player’

It may be time for “The Player” to cash in its chips, as NBC has trimmed the episode order to nine for the low-rated Las Vegas-set crime thriller.

The drama stars Philip Winchester as a man coerced into taking part in an elaborate high-stakes game where the exceedingly wealthy gamble on criminal activity. Wesley Snipes also stars as the overly slick figure overseeing that operation.

Created by “The Librarians” creator John Rogers and “The Blacklist” exec producer John Fox, the series opened modestly in the ratings and only slipped from there as the premise ultimately became too confusing for fans to follow. Last night’s episode averaged a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49, actually up a tenth from the previous week.

It was also met with lukewarm reviews, with Variety TV columnist Brian Lowry writing that the first episode “might set a record in terms of the amount of time spent trying to explain the rules of the show.”

Though “The Player” will be vacating the NBC schedule in mid-November, the network won’t need a Thursday-at-10 replacement until January. It will air an NFL game on Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), the musical “The Wiz Live!” on Dec. 3 and the original movie “Dolly Parton’s A Coat of Many Colors” on Nov. 10.

The season’s new thrillers have had mixed results. While Fox decreased the episode number for futuristic crime drama “Minority Report,” NBC saw ample success for the Jaimie Alexander-starring mystery “Blindspot.” That drama, created by Martin Gero, was the first new show to receive a full season order.

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