HBO Cancels ‘Winning Time’ After Two Seasons

The HBO show on the 1980s Lakers ended up having considerably less success than the actual team — as Winning Time has been canceled after just two seasons.Winning Time HBO Lakers

While popular within the pro basketball community, it failed to draw a big enough audience overall and ended abruptly during episode 7 of season 2.

A dramatized retelling of the rise of Magic Johnson the Showtime Lakers, the series was based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.

Pearlman recently tweeted about its potential demise.

I’m telling you — the future of Winning Time hangs in the balance. We need viewers. The strikes are crippling. Please help spread the word. Season 2 is amazing. But … HBO is big on #s.”

He added, “And, to be blunt, I’m worried there won’t be a season three. And it’s not about me. I’m fine. It’s about a cast of amazing young actors who live this.”

Along the way, Winning Time drew some strong criticism from the subjects portrayed, including Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.

Per The Wrap:

Jerry West’s lawyer wrote a letter claiming the show ‘falsely and cruelly portrays Mr. West as an out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic.’ His letter was backed up with statements of support from Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes.

“Abdul-Jabbar also wrote about the series on Substack, where he described the show as ‘boring’ and ultimately concluded, ‘Yeah, there’s an amazing, compelling, culturally insightful story in there. Winning Time just ain’t that story.'”

There’s a chance another streaming network could pick up the show, but it seems unlikely at this point that it will carry on beyond the second season.

Added The Wrap:

“Perhaps the biggest roadblock to the show’s success was that the real-life story of the time period in Lakers history was too good to dramatize. As great as Quincy Isaiah and Solomon Hughes are, it’s difficult to touch the charisma and presence of Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar in their prime (or even in 2023).”

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply