Jeff Pearlman, the author of “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s” — which “Winning Time” is based on — is calling on audiences to help the HBO drama series get renewed for a third season.
“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 wrote on X, formerly Twitter, this week. “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. So, seriously, tell your friends to support “Winning Time” and show @hbo you want it to continue. Peace. #winningtime.”
Deadline previously reported that the 629,000 total viewers across HBO and Max tuned into the Season 2’s Aug. 6 premiere, a 30% dip from the premiere of the previous season.
An HBO spokesperson declined to comment on Pearlman’s tweets or disclose the latest viewership figures for “Winning Time” Season 2.
In a follow-up video on Friday, Pearlman reiterated his call and said he would be sharing a behind-the-scenes story each day in an effort to get more people interested in the show. Pearlman also revealed that he made a cameo as a reporter in Episode 6 — complete with big sideburns which he was gifted following the shoot.
“I show up on set and I go to the scene and its in a press conference hall and I sit down and people are smoking clove cigarettes and I’m surrounded by reporters and there’s Jerry Buss and there’s Pat Riley and they’re all in front of me and they shoot the scene and then they shoot it again and they shoot again and again and again and again and they shot that scene I think 104 times,” he recalled.
The next day, Pearlman ended up going to urgent care after having an allergic reaction to the wig glue.
“My eyes were closed and my head was exploding and at the end I was like ‘I’m glad I had this experience but I never, ever, ever want to be an actor again,’” he added. “But I love the show. Please watch ‘Winning Time.’ It is a great, great program on HBO.”
The series stars Quincy Isaiah, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Jason Clarke, Gaby Hoffmann, Jason Segel, 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, Michael Chiklis and Rob Morgan.
“Winning Time” is executive produced by Adam McKay and Kevin Messick for Hyperobject Industries, showrunner, writer, and co-creator Max Borenstein, writer and co-creator Jim Hecht, director Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Scott Stephens, Rodney Barnes and Jason Shuman.
New episodes air Sunday evenings on HBO and stream on Max.