Universal Studios, Peacock Greenlight ‘Field of Dreams’ Series

Universal Studios and NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming platform are partnering for a series based on the studio’s 1989 Field of Dreams movie, starring Kevin Costner, who plays an Iowa farmer seeking to exorcise the ghosts of the scandalized 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds. Several White Sox players were alleged to have intentionally lost games for money from gamblers.

Seeking to “reimagine the mixture of family, baseball, Iowa and magic” that made the original Oscar-nominated movie, co-starring James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan, a box office hit ($84 million in global ticket sales), NBCUniversal didn’t reveal casting decisions, except that the showrunner would be Michael Shur (Peacock’s “Rutherford Falls,” “The Good Place,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”).

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“Through the years, Field of Dreams has remained a fan favorite, maintaining its rightful position in the zeitgeist,” Lisa Katz, president of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in an Aug. 16 statement. “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, said Shur’s love of the American pastime, makes him a perfect fit to “revisit this beloved film that evokes nostalgia and visceral emotion in so many of its fans.”

Universal Studios and Peacock are also working on streaming series based on Seth McFarlane’s ‘R’-rated “Ted” movies, starring Mark Wahlberg.

Major League Baseball, which held its first nationally televised “Field of Dreams” baseball game in Iowa on Aug. 12, announced another commemorative game would be played on the same Dyersville, Iowa, cornfield in 2022 featuring the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. Fox Sports said the game was its highest-rated baseball game in 16 years.

Peacock ended the most-recent fiscal period with about 20 million paid subscribers.

Data: ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Reservation Dogs’ Top Streamed Movie, TV Show Through Aug. 15

With Major League Baseball showcasing its first-ever game on Aug. 12 in Dyersville, Iowa, in honor of the 1989 Universal Pictures movie Field of Dreams, filmed on location in the state, the digital edition of the movie was the top-streamed title in U.S. households for the week ending Aug. 15, according to new data from JustWatch. Top streamed TV series of the week was Hulu’s “Reservation Dogs.”

The international streaming guide tracks SVOD streaming habits of 20 million monthly users across 47 countries, including the United States.

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The baseball game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox was the most-watched Fox baseball game on television since 2005 with 5.9 million viewers.

Runner-up movies included A24’s The Green Knight and HBO Max’s The Suicide Squad. Podium finishers among TV shows included “What if …?” and “The White Lotus.”


White Sox Prevail in Real ‘Field of Dreams’ Baseball Game

In 1989, Universal Pictures’ baseball-themed family fantasy Field of Dreams became a box office and subsequent home entertainment hit. Kevin Costner co-starred as a Iowa farmer who in a tribute to his deceased father, a baseball fan, plows his cornfield and builds a makeshift baseball diamond (“If you build it, he will come”) so ghosts from the disgraced 1919 Chicago White Sox World Series team can re-emerge and play ball.

In that series with the Cincinnati Reds, eight members of the White Sox, including “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, were accused of throwing the contest for money, in what would become known as the Black Sox Scandal. The players were permanently banned from MLB — despite their acquittal in a trial two years later. The movie was based on the W.P. Kinsella novel Shoeless Joe.

Aug. 12, Major League Baseball came to Dyersville, Iowa, where the movie was filmed, to feature the White Sox playing the New York Yankees. It was the first MLB game ever played in Iowa, and a reported 8,000 people showed up, including Costner, to watch in a specially constructed stadium in a cornfield near the field built for the movie. The game featured throwback jerseys, eight home runs, and the White Sox winning 9-8 on a walk-off blast in the bottom of the ninth inning by Tim Anderson. The game, “MLB at Field of Dreams Game presented by GEICO,” aired live on Fox Sports.

“Being able to walk it off was definitely one of the best moments of my career, for sure,” Anderson told the media after the game.

“That was as special and breathtaking a setting for a baseball game as I’ve ever been part of,” added Yankees skipper Aaron Boone.

Merchandising: Best Buy Builds ‘Field of Dreams’ Steelbook

Retailers largely stayed away from adding exclusives to any of the May 14 new releases, though Best Buy hoped consumers would come for the Field of Dreams Steelbook 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray it had built.

Best Buy ‘Field of Dreams’ Steelbook 4K UHD Blu-ray

The Steelbook edition of Universal Pictures’ new 30th anniversary 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack, which also comes with a regular Blu-ray and a digital copy, was offered at $21.99 by Best Buy.

Best Buy ‘Godzilla’ Steelbook 4K UHD Blu-ray

Best Buy also has a $24.99 Steelbook edition of the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of 1998’s Godzilla from Sony Pictures.

Best Buy is also taking preorders for Steelbook 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook editions of the three “Toy Story” movies, due June 4 at $34.99 each.

Walmart offered a free digital copy of Top Five, redeemable through Vudu, with Paramount’s What Men Want.

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