Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty Cancellation Confirmed By Showrunner After Season 2

Winning Time - Adrien Brody as Pat Riley

The biographical sports dramedy series, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, is officially canceled. The HBO series, documenting the rise of the Los Angeles Lakers in the late 1970s and early 1980s is done after two seasons and 17 episodes. TV Line first reported the news, which was later confirmed by co-creator Max Borenstein on social media.

RELATED: HBO Max Releases the Riveting Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty teaser Showcasing the Lakers in the 1980s


Speaking on the news, Borenstein commented, “Not the ending that we had in mind. But nothing but gratitude and love. #winningtime” The recently aired Season 2 finale will now be the series finale for the show. Borenstein co-created the show with Jim Hecht. The news is rather surprising considering the series was very well-liked by critics with an 85% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is also fairly high at 88%.

Winning Time - John C. Reilly and Hadley Robinson
Photograph by Warrick Page/HBO

The series starred John C. Reilly as the new owner of the Lakers, Jerry Buss, with Quincy Isaiah as NBA legend Magic Johnson. The first season showed Magic and the Lakers winning the NBA Championship, and they later faced a new challenge in Season 2, facing Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics. Season 2 ultimately covered the NBA seasons from 1981 to 1984.

The show featured an all-star cast, with Adrien Brody as former Lakers coach Pat Riley, Jason Segel as Riley’s predecessor Paul Westhead, and Jason Clarke as Lakers executive Jerry West. It also starred Solomon Hughes as NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sean Patrick Small as Larry Bird, and Hadley Robinson as Jerry Buss’ daughter, Jeanie Buss. Borenstein also wrote and executive produced the show, and he also served as the showrunner.

Winning Time - Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson
Photograph by Warrick Page/HBO

Unfortunately, the series ending now means it ends on a low note. The Season 2 finale ended with the Lakers losing to the Celtics and Bird at the 1984 NBA Finals. However, the final montage showed that the Lakers did go on to beat the Celtics in two of the next three years at the NBA Finals. The show’s cancelation means that viewers won’t get to see those moments dramatized in the series.

This marks the latest cancelation for HBO this year. Another newer series that was recently canceled was The Idol by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. Another HBO series recently canceled after only two seasons was the Perry Mason prequel. A Black Lady Sketch Show has also been canceled. That show saw its finale air in May. The Idol was one of those rare HBO shows to be canceled after only one season. Winning Time and Perry Mason at least made it to two seasons.

RELATED: “Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty” Returning With New Season August 6

Other HBO series canceled after only one season were Luck, Vinyl, Here and Now, Lovecraft Country, The Nevers, and John Crom Cincinnati. Meanwhile, The Last of Us was a runaway hit show of the year and was highly critically acclaimed and highly viewed. HBO quickly renewed the series early into its debut season run.

However, production on that show won’t be able to resume until the current dual strikes with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the actors union (SAG-AFTRA) against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are resolved.

Winning Time - Michael Chiklis
Photograph by Warrick Page/HBO

While Winning Time is canceled and won’t be returning for a third season, the series is still streaming on Max. Viewers can continue streaming every episode of the first two seasons on the streamer now.

What do you think of the news? Are you sad to hear that Winning Time has been canceled? Do you think HBO and Warner Bros. Discovery made a mistake here? Let us know your thoughts on the news on The Illuminerdi’s social media.

SOURCE: TV Line, Max Borenstein

KEEP READING: HBO Max Releases the Riveting Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty teaser Showcasing the Lakers in the 1980s


Jeff Harris

Jeff Harris

Jeffrey is an entertainment journalist and podcast host based in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Radio, TV, & Film and a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. Jeffrey is also a Staff Writer at where he writes about movies, TV, games, wrestling, interviews talent, and covers special events such as Anime Expo, Comic-Con, and CinemaCon. When Jeffrey is not binging his favorite seasonal anime or show, he enjoys playing dodge ball, gaming, watching films, and enjoying UT football. You can find him on Twitter @Wheeljack83.