Former TV producer Craig Lieberman has revealed information regarding the canceled Need for Speed TV series. According to Lieberman, the series would have gone to air in the mid-2000s and would have featured contestants competing in challenges similar to those featured in the games.
What do we know about the cancelled Need for Speed series?
In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Lieberman goes into detail about the canceled Need for Speed series. Lieberman says the project would have aired around the time of Need for Speed Underground's release. It would have involved teams battling against one another to complete challenges inspired by the Need for Speed video games. Teams would have needed to put together their own cars to compete, with judges assessing their performance after races were completed. It sounds like a pretty fun idea, so it's a shame Lieberman's pitch never made it to air. You can check out Lieberman's video below.
So, why was the project shelved? Unfortunately, it seems like the Need for Speed show was canned for pretty commonly-occurring reasons. First, the budget. Lieberman estimates that the show would have cost somewhere in the region of $6 million or more to make, which producers were understandably cautious about forking over. Secondly, according to Lieberman, the pitch was rejected because the market was too crowded; there were already too many car-based TV shows, which would have made it hard for Need for Speed to compete. We did eventually get a Need for Speed adaptation, but the Aaron Paul-starring movie was not exactly well-received.
How is the Need for Speed franchise doing?
Right now, the Need for Speed franchise is in waiting mode. A new game is in the works over at Criterion Games, but it was delayed for a year in March owing to pandemic-related development complications. EA's acquisition of racing giants Codemasters also put it in a tricky situation; the publisher didn't want to launch two racing products within a short span of time, so decided to postpone Need for Speed's launch in order to accommodate F1 2021.
While the Need for Speed franchise may still be racing ahead, it looks like it might be leaving its past in the dust. Earlier this year, Need for Speed community manager Max Myrus revealed that since online services were being shut down for some older games in the franchise, those games would be removed from sale entirely. The games you can't play online anymore are as follows.
- Need for Speed Carbon (2006)
- Need for Speed Undercover (2008)
- Need for Speed Shift (2009)
- Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed (2011)
- Need for Speed The Run (2011)
If you own any of these games and still love them, you can still enjoy them offline, but you can't play online with your friends anymore. It's possible that as time goes on, EA will look to shutter the online services for more legacy Need for Speed titles. Better get as much mileage out of Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Rivals as you can. Until then, the most recent entry in the series, Need for Speed Heat, is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and it's playable on current-gen consoles through backward compatibility as well.
Would you have liked to watch a Need for Speed TV series? Let us know in the comments below!