Cancelled Need For Speed TV show details revealed by former producer

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
(Image credit: EA)

A former TV producer has revealed a Need For Speed TV show was very nearly made in the mid-2000s.

In a new video over on his YouTube channel, former TV producer and consultant Craig Lieberman reveals that he pitched a Need For Speed TV show to EA. 

In the video, Lieberman tells of how he was originally employed as a consultant on Need For Speed Underground at EA, and he would use this position to pitch EA leadership a show to tie in with the new game, which they apparently loved.

Simply called "Need For Speed," the TV show would be based around teams assembling their own vehicles, and would actually feature challenges originating from the video game series. First, Lieberman explains, the contestants in the TV show would be timed on a lap challenge, before undertaking a "best in show" award with a panel of judging experts. 

Need For Speed Underground would actually feature in the TV show, as teams would have to select one driver to represent them in an in-game race. Lieberman reveals the project would have had a budged of $6.4 million, making it one of the most expensive shows of its type, back in the day. 

Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be. Lieberman explains that, in the mid-2000s, the space for car-based TV shows was just too crowded, and even MTV couldn't get its foot in the door. This is chiefly the reason, along with perhaps the budget, that the Need For Speed TV series was ultimately canned. 

It's an incredibly detailed video from Lieberman, someone who's been around in the TV production space for over two decades at this point. If you're at all interested about how the car culture from the early 2000s in America fell away with the rise of services like YouTube, it's a really interesting watch.

Last we heard of a new Need For Speed game, EA delayed the next game in the racing franchise by a year, as developer Criterion was recruited to help out EA DICE launch Battlefield 2042.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.