What is the current status of the third season? Has it been scrapped? Continue reading to get all the answers.
Are we going to see more of the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers basketball teams in the new seasons of the sports drama television series created by Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht for HBO, which is based on the book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s by Jeff Pearlman?
If you are curious to know the answer to this burning question, then we can assure you that you have reached the right place to know it all, as over the last few days we have been aware that the anticipation and many queries relating to the show’s renewal have been skyrocketing all over the web, especially among the fans who have loved to stream the first two seasons!
Is Winning Time new tonight on HBO?
With a very heavy heart, we are about to put a full stop to this question, despite the first and second seasons having fairly good reception. For context, the first season holds an 85% approval rating based on 61 critic reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, while the second season holds an 83% approval rating based on 18 critic reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The future of the series was short-lived! Yes, you read it right earlier this month, on September 17, 2023, when it was announced that the series was canceled after two seasons!
As a result, there is no chance that a new episode, let alone another season of Winning Time, will premiere on HBO tonight or in the near future, as the chapter has been closed for good. Previously, creator Max Borenstein also confirmed the news about the series ending with two seasons on X (formerly known as Twitter), quote, “Not the ending that we had in mind,” he wrote. “But nothing but gratitude and love.”
Moreover, director Salli Richardson also followed up on Instagram with “When you give it everything you’ve got, you can have no regrets. I hope you enjoy the last episode of @winningtimehbo I am sure I will do many more hours of TV and hopefully many features in my future, but I can say that at this moment in time I am most proud of the work we did on this masterful show.” Added co-creator/executive producer Jim Hecht on X, “9.5 years. We made the show of my dreams. That wasn’t the ending we hoped for but very grateful to everyone who watched and for trusting me with his genius book.”
We also speculate that one of the main reasons for the series’ cancellation might be that the series received criticism from Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for historical inaccuracies. Johnson said he would not watch the series because it never depicted the Showtime era accurately, while Abdul-Jabbar referred to the series as deliberately dishonest. On April 19, 2022, Jerry West demanded a retraction from HBO within two weeks for the “cruel” and “deliberately false” depiction of him as a temperamental, foul-mouthed executive prone to angry outbursts and mood swings.
A week later, HBO responded to West with the following statement: “HBO has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalized in part for dramatic purposes. Winning Time is not a documentary and has not been presented as such. However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands resolutely behind our talented creators and cast who have brought a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen.”
West, in turn, has said that he intends to pursue legal action against HBO for defamation, even if he has to “take this all the way to the Supreme Court.” On the other hand, Spencer Haywood called his portrayal in the series a blessing.
With this much controversy since its inception, there is a possibility that it is one of the many reasons why HBO decided not to renew the series for a third season.
On the other hand, the overall viewership also plays a crucial role in determining the future of the series. In this case, the ratings of the series were not up to mark as the second season debuted with 629,000 total viewers across Max and linear telecasts, which is quite bad when we consider the 901,000 people who tuned in for the first season. Due to this, Pearlman went on X to request the fans to check out the second season. “I’m telling you — the future of “Winning Time” hangs in the balance,” Pearlman tweeted. “We need viewers. The strikes are crippling. Please help spread the word. Season 2 is amazing. But … HBO is big on #s,” he wrote.
Back in May, HBO’s head of drama Francesca Orsi said in a Deadline interview that the network brass were “having conversations regarding viewership relative to budget” on several sophomore series, including Willing Time. “Each show has a job to do, given the price tag that we give to it, and there’s a viewership. component, and there’s a critical response element to it and, of course, the buzz nature of a show. It’s those elements that we are always keeping in mind and discussing relative to whether or not a show will continue,” she said. “That factors in for Perry Mason, for Winning Time, for instance, for Gilded Age, so we have to play everything out and see how well they do.”
In conclusion, the cancellation seemed likely to happen, and it became a reality within a few weeks since the second season premiered on HBO, leaving no chance of its revival for a third season in the future.
Winning Time: Official synopsis, and where to stream?
The synopsis of the show as per the press release states: HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is a fast-break drama series that goes back in time to chronicle the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of the sport’s most revered and dominant dynasties. It is based on Jeff Pearlman’s book, Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers, and executive produced by Adam McKay (Succession, Q: Into the Storm), the show takes a look at a team that defined its era, both on and off the court.
Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Michael Chiklis), and Jason Segel star in Winning Time, alongside Jason Clarke, Gaby Hoffmann, Hadley Robinson, DeVaughn Nixon, Solomon Hughes, Tamera Tomakili, Brett Cullen, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Spencer Garrett, Molly Gordon, Joey Brooks, Delante Desouza, Jimel Atkins, Austin Aaron, McCabe Slye, Thomas Mann, Gillian Jacobs and Rob Morgan. The executive producers are writer/co-creators Borenstein and Jim Hecht, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Scott Stephens, Rodney Barnes, director Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and Jason Shuman.
If you want to check out the two seasons, then they are available to stream exclusively on HBO. Moreover, you can watch Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on Prime Video, based on the viewer’s location. It is also able to stream by renting or purchasing on Amazon or Vudu. The video quality and the number of screens you can use to stream simultaneously depend on the package you choose. On the other hand, international viewers can also opt to use a VPN to stream the series in case the above-mentioned platforms aren’t available in their region.
At last, let us know in the comments how you feel about the cancellation of the show with just two seasons.